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May 2016



Q & A On Diabetic Shoes

by Garden State Medical Supply


Q: What are diabetic shoes? And why should I wear them?

A: Diabetes is a progressive disease that can affect almost every part of the human body.  In general it can cause degenerative changes that can limit our family relationships, quality of life and overall life expectancy.

   Diabetes can cause multiple complications that can occur in the foot, but the two major ones are decreased circulation to the foot and a permanent destruction of the nerves in the foot that can cause a painful numbness. Although it does not seem to be that serious, these two factors can lead to amputation and even loss of life. A statistical fact states that those individuals with diabetes who receive a below-the-knee amputation will receive another to the opposite side within five years, and within five years of that amputation will die.

   Now what does a diabetic shoe do that a normal shoe can’t? The most important thing that the diabetic shoe does is it protects the foot from pressure. Pressure is what causes calluses, corns and blisters. In a non-diabetic foot, these are often painful and limit the amount that a person wants to walk or even be in their shoes or on their feet. But unlike a normal foot, a diabetic foot that lacks feeling will form these calluses, which will then form ulcers and can ultimately lead to an amputation.

   So if your wondering does Medicare pay for all diabetics to have custom shoes? The answer is,  No! Medicare specifically states that those individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes and have one or more of the following complications -- history of amputation, history of ulceration, history of calluses, numbness to the feet, foot deformity (bunion or hammertoes) and/or poor circulation -- are eligible for a pair of custom shoes and three pairs of custom insoles per year.

Q: Does my insurance cover diabetic shoes? And how often can I get a new pair of diabetic shoes?

A: Medicare and most commercial insurance plans cover the furnishing and fitting of one pair of extra-depth shoes and three pairs of inserts each calendar year.

Q:  Who’s eligible?

A: All people with Part B who have diabetes and severe diabetic foot disease are covered. Your doctor must certify that you need therapeutic shoes or inserts. A podiatrist or other qualified doctor must prescribe these items and they must be provided by one these:

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