diabetic shoes

Proper footwear is critical for the diabetic patient, in order to help prevent complications often associated with this disease, such as hammertoes, bunions, circulation problems, neuropathy, wounds, infections, and even amputations in worst case scenarios. The Diabetic Shoe Program helps diabetic patients receive specially made footwear and inserts designed to protect their feet and help avoid these foot problems. Many patients diagnosed with diabetes qualify for this footwear under the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill. Also, anyone with a history of a foot ulcer or previous amputation would qualify to try and prevent these things from happening again in the future.

There are two components of diabetic footwear: the shoes themselves and the insoles that go inside. Diabetic shoes must meet certain specific government requirements in structure, stability, and durability in order to be considered a true therapeutic diabetic shoe by Medicare (and all other insurance companies). Diabetic insoles are required to be constructed of three layers of specific material that are meant to support the foot and decrease shearing forces (rubbing that causes blisters) to protect the feet. They are fitted to match the diabetic patient’s individual feet, and can be customized to add special accommodations to better protect their specific feet.

Through the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill, most insurance companies cover one pair of diabetic shoes and up to three sets of diabetic insoles each year. To learn more about the Diabetic Shoe Program, and to see if you qualify, please ask your podiatrist.

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