Snapshot of AOPA 2015

The 2015 AOPA National Assembly came and went before we knew it. Filled with productive meetings, social events, high profile key notes, new technology, innovation, and positive conversation, the assembly was nothing short of exciting and worth every bit of hard-work.

The energy throughout the meeting was contagious with 2,200 people in attendance, allowing participants to truly experience what the O&P industry embodies. The meeting was hosted in San Antonio, Texas and time spent outside of the venue consisted of rich history, culture, the infamous River Walk, the Alamo Mission, delicious foods, and much more.

The Texas spirit was carried throughout the venue with western themed booths, exhibitors channeling their inner cowboys and cowgirls, and a mechanical bull ride for charity. There is no doubt that AOPA pulled out all the stops to make the 2015 National Assembly one to remember.  Below you will find a recap of the Cascade highlights.

Texas Spirit Contest 1st Place1st place

The “Cascade Outlaws” attended the show in force, touting our signature bandannas, cowboy hats, and commitment to the Independents.  We identify ourselves as “Outlaws” in the industry because we push the limits, take some risks, and approach things differently.  A lot of time and effort was spent perfecting our designs, giving our booth a theme, and embodying the Texas spirit. The biggest compliment to our efforts was the 1st Place Texas Spirit Award in the Medium Booth category. We are so proud of our team for participating and getting involved. Thank you to those who voted for our booth and congratulations to those who also received an award.

Exploring San Antonioaopaoutandabout

The iconic San Antonio River Walk was the after hours hot spot for those attending the meeting. From bars, to restaurants, to live music, the River Walk had everything to offer, and then some. If you took a short walk across town you could enjoy a margarita or authentic Mexican meal at Mi Tierra in the Historic Market Square. The Historic Market Square is known as the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico – which is no understatement given there is over 100 locally owned shops throughout the market.

beer tasting

The Happiest of Hours 

On Thursday, October 8th, Cascade and OPIE Software hosted a beer tasting event for attendees and exhibitors – Texas style. Those who came by our booths had a chance to try any of the five local brews we were serving up. This happy hour was a tasty end to our first full day at the show and we hope all that stopped by enjoyed it as much as we did.


The Ultimate in Golf – Topgolf

Jeff Collins, Brad Mattear, and Jerry Schoendorf supported AOPA’s Capitol Connection and OPAF at Topgolf. Topgolf is a premier gold entertainment complex that provides players with micro-chipped golf balls to hit at targets in the outfield – think baseball meets golf and you’ve got a pretty good idea. These guys had a great time socializing and participating in some friendly competition with customers and colleagues.

photoboothGetting Social With Cascade

If you stopped by our booth during the show you were most likely roped into taking a photo in one of our two photo booths. After posing for the camera, the customers photo was posted and tagged on social media with the hashtag #CascadeOutlaws to be entered in our social media contest. The creativity and participation we had was overwhelming. Cascade is so excited to be moving forward and getting others on board with social media in the O&P industry.

Opening Session Keynote

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Donald A. Gajewski, MD gave an outstanding and heart warming speech during the opening session. The exhibit hall was buzzing Thursday morning after the session with comments and conversations regarding Ret. Lt. Col. Donald Gajewski and his appreciation for our industry and those who work tirelessly to provide mobility in those who have lost it. If you missed the keynote, don’t fear, we have provided a video of the highlights thanks to the O&P Almanac.

AOPA 2016

 Where to Next?

The 2016 AOPA National Assembly will be held in Boston, Massachusetts at the John B. Hynes Convention Center, September 9-11th, 2015. 


How Documentation Standards are Driving the Need for Technology Adoption

I am sure that many of you have considered this question: “How can I
be expected to raise the standards of my documentation to the level that
insurance companies are requiring, and still provide the caliber of patient
care that I am known for?”

In some way or another, my entire family works in healthcare. My father
manages a hospital laboratory, two out of my three sisters are nurses at
that same hospital, and the other is a senior consultant for a major health
care insurance company. Surprisingly, we don’t talk healthcare all the time.
However, when we do, I try to take in the bigger picture of healthcare
outside of O&P.

A quote that I heard my sister say recently was particularly interesting to
me. She said to my father, “The (documentation system) that they have
implemented is so much extra work that I am not spending as much time
with my patients.” This really got me thinking about the documentation
requirements that are required of our profession and how a lot of O&P
practitioners feel that same frustration. The heart of the matter is that we
are spending time away from our patients, both physically and mentally.
Someone moved our cheese again. In order to keep our high standards of
care, we must solve the problem. That is to create better documentation
and keep the level of care that we are proud to have offered in the past.

The term that forward thinking healthcare providers are using is Clinical
Documentation Improvement (CDI). They are using it to communicate
to other healthcare members, reduce their financial risk, and create more
effective patient care.

After reading several articles about the subject, there are a few things our
profession can take away from this movement in healthcare.

  1. Improving documentation is an opportunity to improve operational
    efficiency of the organization.
  2. Failing to address documentation flaws not only leads to increased
    financial loss, but also diminishes patient care.
  3. Improved documentation is a requirement for the team-oriented
    approach to patient care. If we want to be a part of the team, we have
    to step up our game by creating workflows that are parallel to the
    rest of the team.
  4. The most advanced hospitals are grasping CDI as a way to actually
    increase the amount of time that clinicians spend with their patients. One
    way of doing so is by using technology that can help reduce your
    documentation time.
  5. Stop writing or typing – Dictating or using guided clinical
    documentation tools for as much of the process as possible reduces
    the time required to document the appointment.
  6. Dictate and document immediately – When the visit is over,
    dictate while you are in the room with the patient. To make sure
    you mentioned everything that was a concern to the patient (they
    can add at the end if you missed something), and to make sure
    you remember everything while it is fresh in your memory. This
    will help remove unnecessary distractions when you see your
    next patient, allowing you to spend more time with your patients
    (Oh! Don’t forget that I have to order that smaller shrinker for
    Mr. Smith).
  7. Photos/Videos – Implement a procedure in your facility that starts
    to capture more than a verbal count of the visit. An assistant/
    technician and/or resident can take the photos and video for the
    clinician for elevated documentation. Think of a doctor dictating
    on lab results of a blood test, or a surgeon dictating on an x-ray.
    Photos and video can form a concrete form of documentation that
    accompanies the clinical notes as a form of data.
  8. Create a role of CDI Specialist – I am not suggesting you hire an
    additional staff member. I suggest that you take 3-4 hours a week
    for one of your clinical staff members (perhaps even a rotating task)
    to review and identify areas for improved clinical documentation.

Furthermore, start to think of improving your clinical documentation
before you enter the room for each visit. Think of documentation as a
guidebook of care for another clinician to take over for you. What would
you want them to know if you suddenly could not take care of that patient?


cara blog

About the Author: 

Cara Negri is an American Board Certified Prosthetist with over 17 years of experience in the prosthetics profession. Her experiences include Technician, Clinical Educator and R&D for Ossur, Gait Society Chair, and Gait and Biomechanics Instructor at CSUDH. Cara is currently the Director for PnO Data Solutions, a division of the Siliconcoach software company that specializes in video movement analysis for the orthotic and prosthetic profession.

OTS Orthotics-Minimal Self Adjustment

In today’s orthotic world we are getting blasted with the term “OTS-Minimal Self Adjustment.” By now most of us are up to speed on its definition and scope, but just for a refresher, here you go: CMS regulations 42 CFR 414.402 define Minimal Self-Adjustment (MSA) to mean an adjustment that the beneficiary, caretaker for the beneficiary, or a supplier of the device can perform and that does not require the services of a certified Orthotist (that is, an individual who is certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc., or by the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification) or an individual who has specialized training.

OTS codes that fall under these guidelines include, but are not limited to L0120 through L4398 and K-Codes-K0901 and K0902. Please refer to the Medicare Fee for Service website at for a complete list. It is important to note that in some cases there are two codes in the HCPCS that may both describe a particular prefabricated orthotic product. One code is allocated to the device that is designated as Off-the-Shelf (OTS) and a second for when the device is furnished for custom fitting. In these cases, the code that describes a custom fitted orthotic cannot be used unless the custom fitting has been performed and the supplier is in compliance with Appendix C of the DMEPOS quality standards. This is also the case for any code for a prefabricated orthotic that requires more than minimal self-adjustment and requires expertise in fitting or customizing.

brad blog About the Author

Brad Mattear L.O., CPA is the Midwest Territory Manager and National Key Accounts Manager for Cascade Orthopedic Supply. He is a licensed Orthotist (L.O.) and a Certified Prosthetic Assistant (CPA). Brad has been in the O&P field for over 15 years and is involved with many well-respected groups within the industry including the following: 

OPTA: Orthotic Prosthetic Technological Association- Vice President
US-ISPO: International Society Prosthetics Orthotics- Board Member
ABC Central Fabrication Accreditation Committee- Chairman
ABC Technician Exam Committee-Member
AOPA-American Orthotic Prosthetic Association-Chairman Technician Program

Proving Product Efficacy in the Wake of New Technology

As the profession of orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) attempts to keep
up with technology, it is becoming a requirement for young practitioners
to have a deeper understanding of how to best utilize technological
advancements to improve lives. Rapid prototyping, 3D printing, powered
devices, and modular components are all cutting-edge and can help
provide better outcomes, but without proving their efficacy they are just
expensive gadgets.

As educators in O&P, we are working diligently to teach our students
the “why” of using technology, not just the “how”. Devices and products
that you see in this newsletter are remarkable and can be very effective
when used in the right application. As practitioners, it is our fiduciary
responsibility to be the patients’ advocate. They acknowledge us as the
experts who will recommend the most beneficial course of treatment. In
order to do this, we must be able to substantiate that the choices we make
are both effective and ethical. Recent graduates have been taught to use
evidence-based practices to justify the clinical choices they make. They
apply proven clinical techniques, empirical data from journal articles, and
data from outcome measures. This collateral will show the user and the
payer source they made the correct product selection. In order to adapt
to the evolving industry and adhere to current documentation standards,
our program teaches students how to ask the right clinical questions.
When evaluating a patient for a new device, the question is not “Can I
incorporate this new microprocessor powered foot into their prosthesis?”,
but “Why should I incorporate this product and how can I prove it will be
beneficial for the user?”

Within the new Master’s Program, students have a much deeper breadth of
knowledge in pathology, biomechanics, material science, biomechatronics,
business management and clinical evaluation skills. Students are also
repeatedly exposed to functional classifications and the role that the entire
allied health team plays in the O&P rehabilitation process. This includes
having a deeper understanding of available research and how to source
useful data that is relevant to each patient’s unique problem. Given this
structure, students work with various outcome measures and are able to
select the most appropriate measure (or group of measures) to address a
prospective patient’s situation. Anyone can perform an outcome measure,
but educated practitioners are better equipped to choose or create a
measure that will meet the needs and goals of their patient.

Regardless of the revamped O&P Master’s Program, new practitioners
entering the field will require hands-on time with patients to enhance
their professional, clinical and technical skills. As educators, it is our
hope that seasoned practitioners will share their clinical experiences
and expertise with the emerging industry leaders. In parallel, we hope
the new generation of practitioners will impart new methodologies,
techniques and perspectives so we can improve our patient’s quality of
life. Today, students emerge from the Master’s Program better equipped
to make informed, ethical decisions regarding the application of new and
innovative technology.

Mark Muller Blog About the Author:

Mark Muller, MS, CPO, FAAOP has 20 years of experience in the O&P industry as a practitioner and technician, a clinical manager, manager of Technical Services for Ossur, and as a past President of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. He currently teaches within the O&P Program at California State University, Dominguez Hills and is active in the Academy’s Outcomes Research Committee, Lower Limb Prosthetics, and Gait Societies.


Welcome to Cascade Orthopedic Supply, LP’s blog. If you are reading this, you are probably wondering who we are, what our blog is all about, and why we are here. 

Cascade Orthopedic Supply, LP. was founded in 1973 and is distinguished as the leading orthotics and prosthetics distributor in North America. Cascade’s mission is to provide superior value and support on the products we source and the services we provide. Cascade has four distribution facilities located in California, Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, allowing three day ground anywhere in the contiguous United States. Cascade’s 40+ year reputation is built on a continued commitment to excellence, investments in technology, and operational efficiency. Cascade is committed to helping customers build a successful practice and provide better patient care. 

Our blog will help us better connect with you, our customers. We are looking forward to filling you in on what is happening in the O&P industry in areas like innovation, technology, events, industry leaders, people, and more. Major developments and reform are occurring in the O&P industry and staying in front of the trends is top of mind. We want this to be a place for you to learn, grow, ask questions, and get connected.

Be sure to follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.  We are excited to provide you with great content and make sure you know who Cascade is and what we are all about.