Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

Where are the dormitories located? I would like the address as I am attending this upcoming week.

A:The address to the dormitory is provided in an email to the student once their enrollment, tuition payment and the Housing Request And Questionniare is received in the administration office of the RMPI. This protects the safety of those participating in the Dormitory Housing Program of the RMPI. Please email the Vice President if you need immediate assistance at pam@rmpi.org who receives and authorizes the dormitory housing requests.

Back to top

Q:What time does class begin and end; I am attending an upcoming Level 2 Hands-on Course.  Key words: course times, class times, arrival times.

A:Early registration is at 7:30 AM.  The course begins promptly at 8:00 AM and concludes at 8:30 PM. A one hour lunch and dinner break as well as three ten minute breaks for rest, relaxation, catching up on emails, or handling business is provided during the course day.  Please respect the dietary, academic and professional needs of others in attendance.  Late attendees will be requested to complete assignments for the time missed in class. This may require an over-time fee by our faculty to assist the student with finishing their competency based educational curriculum.

Back to top

Q:What do I need to bring to class?

A:Paper, pen, pencil, highlighter, portable flash drive, access to a charge card to ship course work after the conclusion of the course if the participant is flying home, pair of uniquely worn shoes, pair of orthopedic or athletic shoes for disassembly during shoe modification class, pair of shorts for gait lab (no long shorts please), pathology book to study with or laptop computer for internet accessibility, a removable foot skeleton is suggested as well as a pedigraph, harris mat or ten pressure stats.   Blue uniform scrubs or appropriate business attire for clinical internship; pants properly ironed and hemmed. Casual attire for lectures and class room, work clothes for manufacturing (may be ruined with glue/adhesives). In the winter, the temperature in Indiana is quite cold; please bring appropriate long underwear, sweatshirts or sweaters and winter coats, gloves, scarves and hat.

Back to top

Q:How should I dress for class?

A:Casual attire for lectures and class room, work clothes for manufacturing or old scrubs, clean, ironed, hemmed scrubs (ideally blue) or casual, professional business attire for clinical internships.  Sandals are appropriate for casting class otherwise, please refrain from wearing sandals due to safety concerns.  Long hair must be restrained during manufacturing. Long fingernails must be trimmed for clinical internship and hands-on assignments.

Back to top

Q:What if I can't arrive on time or need to leave early?

A:

Prior arrangements must be made in advance. Most likely a private tutoring fee will be assessed to catch the student up on missed course work. If you need to leave early, you may be required to return at another time to finish your course work as the faculty may have pre-arranged schedules that can not be altered to meet your personal or professional needs, regretfully. Private tutoring is at $100.00 per hour.  If you are ill and can not attend, please phone the emergency numbers in the Enrollment Protocols or send an email to support@rmpi.org. Your employer will be notified of any non attendance issues as they are most likely responsible for the financial aspects of the student's participation.

Back to top

Q:I didn't realize I needed to bring a pair of shoes to use in shoe modification class; what do I do?

A:

You may visit a local Good Will, Salvation Army or purchase a pair of shoes from a local retailer or the RMPI's inventory at a reasonable cost.

Please be sure the shoes you purchase "FIT YOUR FEET" otherwise, the course module can not be completed as required. They must also have soles that can be easily modified due to the time restraints of the course curriculum. No "spring shoes, coil shoes, rocker shoes such as MBT, Sketchers, Chung Shi" will or can be used for this course module.

Back to top

Q:

Are there any social events or restaurants nearby the school?

A:There are a number of local attractions such as the YMCA, Library, Bowling Alley, and Movie Theatre in Tipton, Indiana and Noblesville, Indiana. Otherwise, the franchise restaurants locally are Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Hardees, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Richards, Subway, Charley & Barneys, China Buffet. There is a fabulous upscale restaurant with five star entrees in the nearby town of "Perkinsville" named Bonges. Please consider treating yourself to the entrees of "Trout, Elk, Ribeye, Veal, daily special items and fresh, homemade tomato soup with a wedge of lettuce and creamy dressing".  Do note that dormitory housing is not a social enviroment, please visit local establishments for socializing, thus allowing others to have a study type atmosphere of relaxation in the dormitories.

Back to top

Q:What is the school's address, I will be arriving soon.

A:2032 South J Street, Elwood, Indiana 46036; across from the Elwood Library and YMCA. The school is located on the south west corner of the stree, with the large dome visable while driving into town.

Back to top

Q:I am having difficult coming up with the total tuition for your program, can I make monthly payments or obtain financial aid?

A:You may arrange a payment plan with the RMPI. However, financial aid packages require a mimimum deposit of $500.00. Two types of monthly payments can be approved. You may participate in 1) "a three months same as cash" in which the deposit is equal to one third of the published tuition price or scholarship price or 2) a one year payment plan which requires a $500.00 deposit and equal monthly payments for eleven months deducted from a credit or debit card. In some cases, checks are permitted. A $50.00 NSF fee will be assessed for non-sufficient funds. A second offense will require cashier's checks or moneyorders. The course certificate of attendance is provided once the tuition is paid in full.

Back to top

Q:

Can a CPED bill for an office visit?  If so, what is the amount that is typically billed and is it covered by Medicare and insurances?

Thanks - JM

A:You may charge for an office visit; i.e. OV copay for managed care accounts.
 
However, you can not bill for them as an official Office Visit - as C.Peds have not been approved for an official OV code for billing. If you use another specialty code such as MD OV or PT OV, they will be denied as you are not one of these practitioners; be careful this could imply you are attempting to commit insurance fraud.

Back to top

Q:

Question #1

Pam, 
Is there any program or transferable credits to further my education.  I think I have approached you before regarding this question, but I am very curious about furthering my education with Pedorthics to ensure a more responsible position and a higher salary.  I am starting a family and find it a bit difficult at times to support us the way I would like to (buying a home, social activities and travel).  I currently hold a position at (deleted for internet privacy).  I love the position that I have been able to secure.  My responsibilities are the same as the CO's and CPO's, just limited to the foot and ankle. Unfortunately, I am getting paid the same amount that I was getting paid at a fabrication lab.  I am trying to find a professional way to bring up a salary raise.  Do you have any information on what a ABC Certified Pedorthist should be making per hour, considering the experience that I have.  I went through your program in December of 2008 and have been working in the Pedorthist field since then.

Thank you for your time and input!!
Hope all is going well.
Do you have any travels planned involving Pedorthics?

Thanks,

Name omitted for privacy


 

A:Hi Mathew!
 
Thank you for emailing me! These are very good questions. As for salary; they range from $15.00 per hour to $25.00 per hour; depending on the company and responsibilities.  A DME company will pay $40K to start for a person with pedorthic experience. They will locate the nursing homes and you would have a route you would do. I have found nursing home work to be very gratifying, relaxing and a nice change to the fast pace of a clinic. It is a different pace but I like it.  You may find it difficult to travel within one - three states; not everyone likes to travel. Most DME's pay your expenses.
 
Unless you become self employed, you probably won't reach more than $45K per year; that is what us experienced people believe. My best year was $72K as self employed. We lived an above average lifestyle.  It will take six orthopedic referrals per week to make $30K per year and pay all overhead expenses if you are on your own.  Otherwise, 12 new patients per week at approximately $375 - 400 per pair of thermoplastic orthoses (made by you or a podiatric lab - quality is of the essence!)...to get to the $50K per year or higher.
 
As a business owner, it has it's ups and downs!  However, other options, are the Shoes-N-Feet Franchises which start their employees at $16.00 per hour. You may already make this type of pay.
 
You could moonlight doing nursing homes on the side, if your employer doesn't mind. You just need your own Medicare number and to become accredited. Perhaps your employer might let you use their Medicare number or their location as your headquarters. If not, perhaps we could work out an arrangement to be your headquarters, but you would have to go through our training and intern with us doing nursing homes for us to sign a subcontracting agreement with you.
 
If there was a local podiatry lab in your area (you could contact PFOLA - The Prescription Foot Orthotic Laboratory Association) and they will have a list of all the podiatry labs in your area and they usually pay about $50K a year for someone experienced. They don't want to loose their employees. This lab, you would expect to put through about 250 pair of feet orthoses through the entire lab a day to get this type of pay; and overtime is mandatory in the summer months.
 
You can ask your employer to pay for your advanced education with us - one week $1500 - $2K for advanced training; functional feet orthoses manufacturing and theory and advanced manufacturing; to improve your hand skills. Then what you do with that knowledge is up to you. We can also tailor a course around your specific needs.

Back to top

Q:

Question #2:

Hello Pam:

Thank you so much for your prompt response! All of this information has been more than helpful. I started working for (name omitted for internet privacy) in November of 2010 with a starting wage of $13.00, and a 3 month raise of .25 cents. My responsibilities there are to see 15-20 patients a day, plaster modifications done to traditional casts, finish grind all foot orthotics (polypro, UCB and multi density functional FO's) and fit orthotics to patients. I feel that I should be making more considering my experience. I have considered starting up my own business many times, but I find it difficult to actually make actions towards it.  I have it all in my head but struggle to get it out. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach my current employer about the salary that I should be making

Thanks again,

(name omitted for internet privacy)

A:Hi Matthew!
 
Great information.  This will give you some more facts; our lab manager, who came with us in our dream of opening our school, made $16.00 per hour with fifteen years experience. His primary experience level was in mass producing the positive casts with the forefoot posting incorporated within them; intrinsically.  There were five others in an assembly line row and all day long, that was his sole responsibility...to put plaster on "termed expansion".  Other staff, hammered the nail, posted them with the forefoot platform. No patient care, etc., just a quality assembly line.
 
I had an assistant and his pay in 1999 was $30K with five years experience. He saw new patients and only provided one adjustment, then they were referred to me. He also pressed the orthoses in our lab (after we sold our national lab); about 25 pair per week. He also answered all phones and took care of the phone log, returning all phone calls.
 
I would suggest you ask your employer, where does he see you in his organization in the upcoming five or ten years. Does he have goals to expand the company. Is there any opportunities to become a part owner, expanding your responsibilities. There are two dynamics here; 1) he may realize you are willing to spread your wings and leave, which can be a positive and negative in his eyes and 2) he may respect your enthusiasm, commitment to your career AND family.
 
Please tell me more about the company you work for, the volume of work that goes through the lab, the number of employees, whether they have a retail facility, etc.
 
I will offer more advice when I know more to interject upon.
 
You must be valuable and trust worthy, otherwise you would not be seeing patients (not customers). Customers are easy; patients require knowledge, trust, respect; an above average clinician to minimize legal risks, etc.

Back to top

Q:

Question: I was wondering how many C. Peds accept insurances other than Medicare. Where can I find information on how to sign up with insurances? How difficult is it to become a provider and what is the biggest hurdle?

Unknown Author - Pedorthic Newswire 08-10-2011 Issue #429

A:

The RMPI faculty consists of clinically driven practitioners who are traditional in their beliefs to service patients traditionally, by working within the constraints of the health care system. While it is not necessarily as profitable to bill for insurance or accept the percentage of payment provided or collect from the patient when the insurance denies the charges, it is our belief that is still an intrical part of the requirement of being part of the healthcare team. Perhaps in the future, with the changes in healthcare abounding in the USA; a clinician may opt to request payment at the time services are rendered for all services provided or develop a payment plan versus an insurance reinbursement plan.  While this may be a good financial business decision, it leads us to wonder who will treat the patients who have no insurance, are in financial distress or indigent. Do we leave it to the government to pay for their services or do we refer them to another healthcare practitioner or supplier who is "truly part of the traditional healthcare team, that we have known to respect, trust and call upon"?  When is a pedorthist  or clinician truly a member of the healthcare team? We believe that a clinically driven pedorthist will not require all patients to pay for services at the time they are rendered. Perhaps when the pedorthist or clinician conforms to what other clinicians in their area are doing., then they may have found a compromise to this perplexing situation. The point at this time, that in 2011, most medically and clinically driven healthcare practitioners agree to file for insurance claims in at least 50% of their patient base.  While there must be a revenue streams to meet overhead costs and monthly budgets, as members of the healthcare team, many patients can not afford medical services without clinicians agreeing to allow the insurance to make the intial payment or the final payment.  One might question how the referring physician would respond when told that "as a board certified pedorthist, I do not file insurance for my patients". I would imagine some referring physicians would find another healthcare provider to refer their patients to. With this being a delicate subject matter in the USA, we found these other two responses beneficial to those who might be considering becoming providers within health insurance organizations:

Response: Depending on the types of insurance plans (HMO, PPO, MCO, PIP, workers comp, major medical, etc) that are sold in your area, I would think that calling the plan and asking for Provider relations or Provider contracting department would be the starting point.  Our experience is the larger the insurance plan, i.e. Kaiser Permamente, is in an area, the more likely they are to contract with large, national companies and exclude everyone else.  We went after a provider contract with a Medicare HMO, PacifiCare (now owned by United Healthcare) and lost money servicing their patients.  The fees in the contract were actually higher than Medicare allowables but the claims would be denied for lack of prior authorization even though prior authorization was faxed to us, claims would be underpaid (pay for inserts but not shoes, pay for shoes but not inserts, even though shoes and inserts were on prior auth for delivery), and delays in payments for months on end (claims staff would say that they never got claim even though we had faxed it in with other claims that did get paid (or underpaid).  If one is going to bill insurances, you almost surely need a dedicated person in charge of submitting claims, following up on why claim was not paid/was not paid correctly, etc.  Factor in the cost of this person being dedicated to this process and ask yourself, is this book of business really profitable?  You almost have to budget 25% of fee schedule payment to cover personnel costs of getting paid.  If the allowables are low and 25% is going to cost of collecting or become bad debt, can you really make a profit billing insurance plans.  Doubtful.  Better to have customer self pay and give copy of Rx and tell to submit copy of Rx and copy of your retail receipt to try to get reimbursed directly. 
 
-John Mishasek, C.Ped.

Response: We do not accept insurance and don't plan to. The administrative, profitability and cash flow challenges are not worth it for us.

-Robert Schwartz, C.Ped. Eneslow the Foot Comfort Center / Eneslow Shoes & Pedorthics / Eneslow Pedorthic Institute, Inc.

Back to top

Q:

Can you please provide me with basic information about your program so that I may present it to my employer?

A:

Below are answers to the most common introductory questions presented to us via email or in a telephone inquiry. If you have additional questions, please email online@rmpi.org - thank you for your inquiry.

Common Questions When Choosing A Pedorthic School

 

01) How long is the course? Officially 147 hours reflective of RMPI's NCOPE Self Study.

02) How quickly can the course be accomplished? A person seasoned in the profession can accomplish the online portion in approximately two weeks working a full-time job. A beginner would need six weeks’ minimum. Studying the medical terms and having immediate recall of them is the most time consuming at the start. If they are working with a mentor during their studies as required by NCOPE at 1000 internship hours, then they should be picking up anatomy and pathology as well as treatment modalities within the pedorthic scope of practice on a daily basis. It is reasonable to expect one year to gain an entry level understanding of the profession before sitting for the ABC national exam.

03) Does the course have online components? The course has approximately 85% online and ten days are required for Practicum at our facility (unless an approved traveling course is being offered).

 

04) What requirements are needed to enroll? A high school diploma.

05) When is the next Practicum course: They are published on the RMPI website at www.rmpi.org - but courses are offered routinely in March, April, September and October. The March course is longer than the other dates. Private or additional courses are offered by request or demand.

06) Is housing or shuttle service provided? Yes, by prior reservation and during operational times.

07) What is the focus of RMPI's curriculum? The RMPI has a multi-disciplinary curriculum and approach with emphasis on applied foot and ankle biomechanics. Our faculty and consultants have focused on orthopedic and podiatric clinical and manufacturing applications dating back to the 1950's - 1970's.  Several of our faculty and consultants hold patents in foot and ankle prosthetics, orthotic posting techniques and design as well as foot care products. Our lead pedorthic faculty both have over four decades of clinical care and manufacturing experience; providing a comprehensive opportunity for student’s growth within the profession. Seasoned pedorthists providing real-world experience having worked in the industry before becoming academic educators with a vision and mission to improve patient outcomes globally.

08) What is the tuition? $4K for US residents. $5K for non-USA residents. Canadian residents are considered US residents as a courtesy.

09) Are payment packages available? Yes, however they are more expensive than paying in full at the time of enrollment.

10) Are there scholarships available? If the student enrolls within 30 days of contacting the RMPI with inquiries, they qualify for the Do-It-Now Scholarship, currently sponsored by ING Source, the makers of OrthoSleeve, OS1st and the Foot Gym.

11) Is there a deadline when the course must be completed? Yes, within one year of enrolling. A re-enrollment fee equal to 20% of the paid tuition is required to continue after the one year deadline.

12) What is the refund policy? There is no refund once the Enrollment Confirmation is sent to the student. However, in most instances, the student may transfer their enrollment to a fellow employee or sell their tuition. A re-enrollment fee would apply.

13) May I speak to someone personally? Yes, Joe Haig, the RMPI's leading manufacturing instructor is available via phone to discuss concerns and answer questions at 765-425-9012; providing expert advice on whether this career path is suitable for their personal or professional career objectives.

 

Back to top

Q:

What books are needed to begin my pre-certification online course and where do I purchase them?

A:

The RMPI recommends the book titled: Introduction to Pedorthics to be utilized as a study tool when performing the Level 1 and Level 3 Online Courses. However, the book titled: Contemporary Pedorthics is widely used as a day-to-day clinical reference tool post-course. This book is also referenced by the Author of RMPI's Level 3 course as a means to completing the Level 3 Course Assignments. However, with the benefits that the internet offers, many students utilize the internet to complete the Level 3 course assignments.  If you are new to the foot and ankle profession, retailing or healthcare profession, the RMPI suggests both books as well as the following study tools: The Professional Shoe Fitting Book or the Video "When The Shoe Fits" and the PFA Reference Guide.  The RMPI does offer a review course to aid in the successful completion of the ABC or BOC National Pedorthic Exam.

All books can be purchased through the PFA's Resource Center via Online Ordering at http://www.pedorthics.org/  and the order will be directed to the following department:

Education/Learning Center Specialist 

Pedorthic Footwear Association

1-800-673-8447  Ext. 318

 

If the books are on back order - you may also attempt to purchase them through Oklahoma State University - Okmulgee, as they closed their pedorthic program in 2009 and may still have inventory on hand:

 

The OSU - Okmulgee Bookstore

1801 E. 4th Street, Okmulgee, OK  74447

918-293-4950 or 1-800-722-4471 Ext. 4950

 

 

Back to top

Q:

I have a diabetic patient with a hallux and 5th ray disarticulation.  Normally I would make a hallux and 5th ray filler, but his second digit is deviated medially across the distal end of the 1st met head, in the space of the hallux where the filler would go.  His foot seems to fit well into the shoe and he may not need a filler for the 5th ray either.  What would you suggest I do?  I'm wondering if I should make a custom orthothic for him at all, maybe just the standard semi-custom direct mold diabetic insert would be sufficient.

A:

Does the second digit have the range of motion available to put it back into it's correct position? If not, then yes, a filler would still be good as well a a carbon fiber plate to stop the shoe from looking clown like.  Can you send me a digital picture of this foot? Also, what is the hindfoot alignment when standing in resting calcaneal stance position, single limb stance? What is his forefoot plane of deformity? If his forefoot is neutral, you have more options. If it is a forefoot varus or the remaining stump of the amputation is a forefoot varus, you really need to balance the forefoot with either intrinsic or extrinsic posting to prevent compensation onto the remaining medial stump.

Back to top

Ask a question

News

View All News Articles>