The National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education recently released results of an analysis projecting O&P workforce supply and patient demand during the next 10 years. These data should allow the profession to better align its workforce with future demand for services, according to a press release.
Conducted by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC, the project was inclusive for all levels of O&P and demonstrated that the overall number of credentialed providers will need to increase by approximately 60% by 2025 to meet growing demand — otherwise the workforce could shift toward non-credentialed providers.
There were some limitations with estimating the available data, the release said, but the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) will present a more detailed review of the results in October at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association’s National Assembly in San Antonio, Texas.
“Although there were limitations to the study, it does fundamentally support the future need for O&P professionals and our unique skills and knowledge to provide care and services,” Charles Kuffel, CPO, vice-chair of NCOPE, said in the release. “This report addresses the value and sustainability of the O&P profession.”
NCOPE will use the results to plan for future education standards and pathways to pursuing certification. The results will also be used by the HOPE grant consortium participants and other educational programs to assist in development of new or improved educational content, according to the release.
The project was funded in part by an $11.1 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; however, the analysis was created by NCOPE and does not necessarily reflect the official positon of the U.S. Department of Labor.
A complete copy of Projecting the Adequacy of Workforce Supply to Meet Patient Demand is available on NCOPE’s website.