3DPO Learns About Medicare Coding

3DPO recently traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to attend the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association’s Coding and Billing Seminar. He made the journey with Amy Smith, Executive Assistant, and they met Mark Treasure, CP, BOCO at the event. Mark had driven up from the Cumberland office.  3DPO asked Amy to stop several times on the journey as he had not been to the area before and wanted to take in some sights.

Dankmeyer staff regularly attend events to see what’s new in the field and make sure we are up to date on what is expected of us as providers of care to our patients. The seminar specifically dealt with medical coding and billing, which is how we tell insurance companies what we have provided to a patient so we can be reimbursed accordingly. 

The night before the seminar started, 3DPO went over the itinerary for the day to make sure he was prepared. He made sure to set the alarm and went to bed early to be rested for a day of learning. These events are still new to him so he likes to be at his best when he is learning new things and meeting new people.

His first day at the seminar was a busy one. He saw lots of new faces and took notes full of good information to take back to Dankmeyer like the great intern he is! In the afternoon, he was able to attend a small group session of practitioners and see several types of knee and ankle braces while the group discussed how each was constructed and would be explained to the patient’s insurance company using medical codes.  3DPO enjoyed seeing braces in styles and shapes he had never seen before. Most of them much larger than he was, so Mark and Amy helped him hold them.

That evening, with so much learned, he was excited for the second and final day. To recharge before bed, he took time out before bed to review the Baltimore Ravens schedule for the season to see when they would be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As the group reviewed policies for Medicare beneficiaries, he took notes to get further information and ask questions. Speakers from several companies and AOPA itself spoke for most of the day on policy and how it can be ever changing as technology evolves. 3DPO, Amy, and Mark compared notes on what each had learned that day.

Sadly this was only a two day event and at the end of the day, Amy and 3DPO readied to travel back to Baltimore and Mark made his way back to Cumberland, MD.  As Amy and 3DPO waited for Amy’s car, he noted a 3D printed bench, he was so very excited. As the journey would be a long drive, he offered to drive part of the way, but as he was unable to do so safely, he instead held onto the ticket for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a very important job!

Once back in the office, he was happy to have and share this new information and see how it applied to his job and understand how everyone’s job fits together to make sure we take the best care of our patients.

 

 

3DPO Sends Digit With Kristin on Vacation

Digit with Kristin.

Ready for action.

Look at all those pink shirts on the bridge!

The view of downtown Nashville from the bridge.

Digit met a three-legged dog on the walk.

Digit, 3DPO’s therapy dog-in-training, went with 3DPO on a field trip in April with Dankmeyer staff members to the Adventist 5K Walk, Wheel, Run.  That was Digit’s first experience at an event outside the Dankmeyer office, and when an opportunity came to accompany Kristin Boswell, Director of Patient Services and Billing, out of town, he jumped at the chance! 

He said goodbye to 3DPO, put on his blanket and departed with Kristin and her husband Richard, to Nashville, TN.  As part of their holiday, they were going to participate in a dog walk!

Before the big day, Kristin and Richard picked up their special event pink T shirts to wear.  When they arrived at the event on July 8, 2017, Digit was quite surprised at what he saw!  Over 1,000 people and dogs were ready to walk in the Inaugural MuttNation March, including Digit, Richard, & Kristin.  It was all to raise awareness and join the fight to end animal homelessness, neglect, and cruelty. 

It was a mile walk from Nissan Stadium (home of the Titans NFL team, yuk) across the Cumberland River into downtown Nashville, finishing at Hall of Fame Park.  It was absolutely awesome to be a part of this walk.  Kristin explained how important it was to her to raise awareness for an issue that plagues our nation and is too often pushed aside.   

Miranda Lambert (a country singer Digit learned about on the flight over that Kristin likes), Miranda’s mom, and her MuttNation crew all participated in the walk.  She did a pretty emotional speech at the end of the walk expressing how much it meant to have so many people care about homeless animals and their desire to promote awareness of these situations.  Digit was so touched by her kind words, he couldn’t help but wag his tail (even though it doesn’t really move….it moved in spirit) along with all the other tails that were there. 

But it didn't end there!  Kristin and Richard also attended the County Music Association Festival that takes place every summer in Nashville.  The MuttNation Foundation brought 60 dogs with them to the CMA Fest that were up for adoption throughout the four day festival.  They had a booth set up in the exhibit hall where you could hold, pet, and play with the dogs. Needless to say, they visited this booth.  Kristin, who has Beagles at home, sooooo much wanted a Beagle they had for adoption, but he got adopted quickly by someone else!   

Ten dogs were adopted in the first HOUR!  42 dogs adopted in the first two days.  56 dogs adopted by 4pm Saturday and the last four adopted very quickly on Sunday!   In four days, they adopted out all 60 dogs to people across America & Canada!  How incredibly awesome!

It was a very fine vacation indeed, and Digit was happy for all of the dogs that went to their new homes from the event.  Digit thought how lucky he was to have 3DPO, and all of his friends at Dankmeyer to be his pack.  He was very happy that Kristin and Richard had invited him to this very educational event.

Here is a nice short story about the walk: http://www.nashcountrydaily.com/2017/06/12/miranda-lamberts-inaugural-muttnation-march-helps-60-shelter-dogs-find-new-homes/

Click on this link for more information about Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation.  Also, MuttNation can be found on Facebook & Instagram.   Instagram has a lot of pictures from the event, including the dogs and the wonderful families who adopted them.  

You can read more about Kristin's work with animal rescue in our Community Blog.

The finish line!

3DPO and the Dankmeyer Linthicum Construction Project

It is really hard for him to purse his lips to whistle, but 3DPO still likes the idea of whistling while he works, and work he must!  Since the end of April, the Dankmeyer patient exam room at the Linthicum office has been undergoing a makeover.  After being in the office space for over 20 years, it was decided to make some changes to better serve patients during evaluations, fittings and deliveries.  Opening up some space and including some new equipment was all part of the plan.  Fresh paint and new carpet would brighten up the place too!

Months before actually starting this project, there was a lot of planning.  The management team pulled out the plans from the original build out of the space and studied them closely.  They knew that they wanted to accomplish certain things - of course  keeping some rooms open and available to see patients.  There would be a bit of mess and noise during some parts of the project, and so System Administrator Nancy Lee prepared some clever signs that were posted in the office and on Facebook and the website. That way people coming into the office would know what was going on.  Before bringing in a demolition crew, Joe Delorenzo asked 3DPO to start by taking some “before” pictures - and he even got Joe in one of them!    

As an intern learning about all aspects of a prosthetics and orthotics practice, it is a good thing that 3DPO is pretty much interested in everything.  He had already been through safety training with Safety Office Matt Hierstetter, and he could volunteer some of his own tools.  He asked to experience first hand the demolition part.  On the day the demo crew got there, Dankmeyer provided a hard hat and he gathered his tools from Art’s desk (Art Ross, Fabrication Technician) where they were stored.  Leaving Digit behind in Art’s care, he went to meet the crew and see what he could do to help.

First, sheets of plastic were put up to provide some barrier between the construction and the rest of the space.  This would help limit any dust. 3DPO got to do some ladder work. Some cabinetry had to be removed and some of the furniture.   The carpet came out.  Some of the walls actually were knocked out!  

Then it was time for some drywall work.  At this point 3DPO’s cousin came in to help.  3D-Too helped to move some materials around, and before you know it, the work was done.  The painting came next, and instead of picking a lovely shade of green paint, they decided to stick with the same neutral color.  All of this didn’t take much time, but now they had to wait for the new carpet to come in.

Everyone at Dankmeyer had looked over the carpet samples to vote for their favorites.  3DPO had voted for something with green. The winner? Dress Smart Cozy Chic.  It sounds like a hug for your feet, right?   The carpet went in lickety-split and 3DPO and 3D-Too did a little celebration dance in the middle of the new space on the comfy new carpet.  There was some cleanup done and cabinets to put back, exam room curtains rehung, but things were almost finished.  And now, all that is left is for some new equipment to come in, and 3DPO can’t wait to see it.  He is looking forward to showing it all off to all the new patients, and when the next Amputee Walking School is held at Dankmeyer on June 21, 2017. 

Registration details for the next session of Amputee Walking School are available here.

3DPO Attends Adventist 5K Walk, Wheel or Run

3DPO was familiar with the old English proverb “April showers bring May flowers”, but on Saturday, April 22, 2017 he would have preferred sunny skies and a reasonable temperature for outdoor exercise.  The participants of the 2nd Annual Amputee Awareness 5K Walk, Wheel, or Run gathered that morning would probably have agreed with him!  Held by Adventist Healthcare, rain or shine, the free event was designed to raise awareness about amputees “one step at a time!”  Everyone gathered at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, MD for the 11AM start where participants were going to tackle the track.  One loop around a track is a quarter of a mile, so a 5K (3.1 miles) would take 12 laps! 

3DPO hitched a ride with Dankmeyer clinical staff members Nina Bondre, Rob Tyler, and Kelsey Kasten.  They got to the event about an hour before the 5K was scheduled to start to set up a display table.  They brought a couple of demonstration prostheses and green and white Gatorade in a show of Dankmeyer color spirit! 

After the setup, 3DPO spent some time making new friends and introducing his therapy-dog-in-training, Digit, to everyone.  This was Digit’s first public appearance and he seemed to feel right at home, because there were many other dogs accompanying their owner participants.   For fun, 3DPO and Digit lined up before the start and took a few test laps to get warmed up to man the display table.

Dr. Andrew Rubin, one of Mark Hopkin’s and Rob’s patients, was there to participate.  He was anxious to use his new prosthesis on the track.  The prosthesis had just been delivered earlier in the week, and Dr. Rubin requested an adjustment to the alignment of his prosthesis.  Between 3DPO’s three practitioner companions, all the tools needed were at hand, and Rob fixed Dr. Rubin up in no time.  During the alignment process, 3DPO was able to get a good a good view from the top of the table of the transtibial (below knee) prosthesis, with an Ottobock Challenger foot.  He asked Dr. Rubin what was special about the particular foot on his prosthesis, and Dr. Rubin explained that the foot is designed for people who do higher level activities, such as running, as it provides good energy return and shock absorption.  Dr. Rubin revealed that he is a recent amputee - having had his surgery in September.  He was excited to return to jogging after a twelve-year absence. 

Further conversation revealed that Dr. Rubin is a regular attendee of the Amputee Walking School, and was going to put to good use some of the training and education he took away from those sessions.  3DPO excitedly told him that the next AWS in June would be held at Dankmeyer and that registration was already open! (For registration information, visit our Amputee Walking School page by clicking here.) Dr. Rubin assured 3DPO that he had already registered for the event and that they would see each other again in a few months.  

Luca Rubin

Digit was also very happy to spend some time getting acquainted with Dr. Rubin’s dog Luca, a Goldendoodle.  Luca was still a puppy, but a famous one!  Luca had his picture on the Dankmeyer Facebook page back in January after coming to an appointment with Dr. Rubin.  3DPO hoped that Luca would visit the office again so that Digit and Luca could have a play date, now that they were friends. 

At 11AM, it was time for the participants to begin walking/running/wheeling.  Many participants had amputations, and friends and family members joined them on the track.   A few people acted as wheelchair pushers, switching off every few laps to keep their participant moving around the track.  Many different groups and organizations were handing out water, Gatorade, bagels, bananas, and cupcakes.  People ran, jogged, walked, or wheeled around that track 12 times! While it did rain the entire time, everyone kept their spirits up and completed the race.  In addition to the 5K, fundraisers such as a 50/50 raffle were held, and winners were announced at the end of the 5K.  Proceeds were donated to the Amputee Patient Assistance Fund.  

Rob, Nina, Kelsey, 3DPO and Digit enjoyed supporting all the participants and made sure to pose for pictures with Dr. Rubin.  After a fun filled day, it was time to pack up and head home and dry off.  And time for some tired puppies to take a nap.

3DPO Goes to Coffee with Dankmeyer

As Dankmeyer has offices in four locations, 3DPO was very anxious to explore some of the other spaces so that he would know more about them.  He was offered the opportunity to go to the Sinai office to help with setup for an event they were hosting there.  The Dankmeyer Sinai office is located on the Sinai hospital campus in the Morton Mower Medical Building.  He made a quick ride over on the morning of March 29, 2017 with Practice Liaison Toni Robinson.  On the way, they made a stop to pick up some of the treats that would be served at this social event, which is named “Coffee with Dankmeyer”. 

This Coffee was started a few years ago to create a relaxed environment where professionals who worked at Sinai could drop in, share a coffee and a snack and get to know more about Dankmeyer and its services.  Sheryl Nathanson, CPO, is on hand along with Toni and Patient Services Representative Jeanne Smith to answer questions and provide reference materials.  There are some demonstration devices placed around the waiting room on display as well.

3DPO was happy to help arrange the table with bottled water, snacks and of course, coffee!  Guests may bring their own coffee cups, but Dankmeyer has some very special custom mugs for these occasions.  There are a few take aways for those interested - like Dankmeyer calendars.  Today, the Dankmeyer hosts were providing a very special sweet treat - Rita’s Italian Ice.  3DPO was very interested in learning more about this employee favorite, if there was any left after the gathering.

He was honored to personally great guests at the table, eagerly waving a windmill to celebrate.  A few of the guests were so happy to meet him that they posed for a picture at his request!  Toni and Sheryl served up the Rita’s and engaged in witty conversation with everyone who came in to pass some time.  3DPO was so proud to help, and when all was said and done, he did get to sample the Rita’s.  Sadly, there was not enough left to take back to the main office and share with others.  After they cleaned up the office, Sheryl showed him some of the pictures from previous coffees. There was one for Mardi Gras a year ago, one for summer fun and another one at Halloween.  Those guys were really good a decorating!

But maybe most exciting was the news that was shared with guests, that there was going to be a really BIG event this summer at the Dankmeyer main office, and they were all invited!  3DPO would be part of the team to get the event off the ground.  The next Amputee Walking School, on June 21, 2017, was going to be held at Dankmeyer for a change of pace, and there was also going to be new course material for the professional education part.  One of the guests happily accepted a flyer on the event when 3DPO offered it to her.  This was going to be even bigger than the Coffee with Dankmeyer!  3DPO wondered if they would serve Rita’s.  He planned to suggest it at a planning meeting.

For more details about the summer session of the Amputee Walking School, click here.

 

3DPO's American Academy of O&P Field Trip

Despite his best intentions to report weekly, time got away from 3DPO over the last three weeks.  Time and the excitement of his first field trip!  3DPO was very excited he was able to attend the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists annual meeting in Chicago!

Interns don’t usually get to attend such prestigious events, but he was given the opportunity to learn a LOT about prosthetics and orthotics in a very intensive effort.  He was chaperoned by Kristen Beltran, Resident Prosthetist Orthotist, and Sheryl Nathanson, CPO, and Nina Bondre, Board Eligible Prosthetist Orthotist. Nina let him hitch a ride in her bag as they moved around the meeting space.

The focus of the meeting was on sharing clinical knowledge about prosthetics and orthotics, as well as networking with other professionals in the field. He studied the meeting materials in order to find the best lectures and demonstrations.  Some of these were lectures about new products in the field and others about current research. For instance, why do some patients use their orthoses more than others? He asked one of his mentors to explain this to him. Nina explained that one of the most important factors in a successful outcome is encouraging communication between the patient and practitioner. The more aligned expectations are on both sides, the better the outcome for the patient.

After a nutritious snack, 3DPO learned about some of the new components being used in P&O, including the Becker Triple Action ankle joint (just his size.) He learned all about the Gomez Scoliosis System and how he could better assess patients with scoliosis. His favorite prosthetic component on display was a myoelectric hand that operates based on a patient's muscle contractions and nerve signals. His favorite lecture was about how a patient's sense of balance and position in space affects confidence in mobility. Given his square body and inability to have a sense of balance, 3DPO was intrigued by this topic. He questioned Nina closely. She explained that it is fairly easy and quick to incorporate new techniques to assess someone's balance when evaluating for a prosthesis, for example. Patients who have a better ability to sense their body in space tend to have an easier time walking and feeling confident while doing so. 

3DPO had a great time in Chicago learning about the business he will be working so hard in.  He loved meeting new friends and teachers.  And he enjoyed some new flavors while he was there. A guy has to eat some time!  Now back home, 3DPO is looking forward to helping the staff at Dankmeyer continue to provide exceptional patient care.

Welcome 3DPO - Dankmeyer 3D Intern

3DPO is the newest intern at Dankmeyer, Inc. His history with the company began in 2015 as an experiment in 3-D printing with the newly acquired 3D printer (pictured here.) 

His predecessors 1DPO and 2DPO proved to be less than useful, in that their only noticeable skill was pencil holding. With his solid stance and jointed arms 3DPO has proven himself more flexible in his assignments. He may be a little green but is more than willing to help around the office any way he can. His keen wit and ready smile make him fun to be around.

Standing in at 5.5 inches "D", as his friends call him, is very good at paying attention to details. He is especially good at finding tiny things that have been dropped on the floor.

Outside of work he enjoys short walks, looking up at flowers and moving pebbles. His favorite movies are I Robot, Robocop, Wall-E, Short Circuit, and The Wizard of Oz. "D" is also considering adopting a robotic therapy dog if he can find one his size. He has read a lot about service dogs on the website, and would love to train one!

As he learns more about Dankmeyer and his Dankmeyer teammates, he will share those adventures here.  His weekly contribution should engage, enlighten, and intrigue anyone interested in what goes on beyond patient care in Prosthetics and Orthotics.  He will be assisted by Dankmeyer staff in preparing photos and videos to share as he goes about his intern duties.

Welcome, 3DPO!