HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.1 - Prosthetics EligibilityVHA Headquarters Organziation and Responsibility

1.6. VHA Headquarters Organziation and Responsibility

The Chief Consultant, Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) Strategic Healthcare Group (SHG), recommends policies, plans, operational directives and professional standards pertaining to a unified and comprehensive VA prosthetic program, and coordinates activities with the other VHA Headquarters elements. In that connection, the Chief Consultant is responsible for:

a. Overall field consistency of the program; this includes field facility Prosthetic Programs, Prosthetic Treatment Centers, Prosthetic-Orthotic Laboratories, Orthopedic Shoe Last Clinics, Restoration Clinics, and Amputee Clinic Teams.

b. Analyzing, evaluating and responding to reports of audit, survey, and review teams, including recommendations made by the veteran service organizations.

c. Recommending standards, technical specifications and proposals for artificial limbs, wheelchairs and other contracts.

d. Rendering opinions on prosthetic matters to the Board of Veterans Appeals and Veterans Benefits Administration staff as requested.

e. Answering professional inquiries and controlled correspondence pertaining to the prosthetic program, as requested.

f. Preparing and maintaining a system of handbooks, directives, information letters, bulletins, and program guides covering pertinent aspects of the prosthetic program.

g. Maintaining a system of prosthetic program review and evaluation for purposes of management effectiveness by conducting planned and recurring visits to field facilities.

h. Conducting studies of program operations, preparing analyses of results, and implementing policy, standards or indicated procedural changes.

(1) Analyzes data related to workload, staffing, and special programs of field facilities.

(2) Reviews, evaluates, and/or coordinates with pertinent Clinical Program staff, requests for unusual or experimental prosthetic devices submitted by VA field facilities.

i. Analyzing and submiting data related to prosthetic program workloads, space allocations and staffing at VA field facilities to appropriate VHA Headquarters activities.

j. Assisting field facilities in recruiting, selection, and evaluation of various categories of prosthetics personnel.

k. Collaborating with the Employee Education Service in formulating and developing educational programs spanning the field of prosthetics, for professional, technical, and administrative staffs.

(1) Coordinates and supervises a centrally directed and funded training program for prosthetic representatives, orthotists, prosthetists, and restoration technicians.

(2) Authorizes VHA Headquarters' representatives or qualified field facility prosthetic representatives to conduct on-site evaluations of field facility prosthetic operations (in coordination with medical center staff), and provides the facility staffs with technical and operational training as indicated.

l. Planing and preparing prosthetic workshops, conferences, ad hoc committee meetings for VHA Headquarters, VISN, and field facility staff involvement in the broad areas of prosthetics.

m. Collaborating with responsible Program Officials, Rehabilitation Research and Development, Blind Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury, Audiology and Speech Pathology, etc., relative to formulating and developing programs and projects that will benefit patients receiving prosthetic services.

n. Recommending short- and long-range plans pertaining to the prosthetic programs.

o. Preparing and submitting requests for General Counsel opinions on legal issues that arise in the administration of the program; such as, the scope of authority to furnish unusual appliances or services recommended for veteran patients.

p. Coordinating and administering the automobile adaptive equipment benefit program within VHA.

q. Coordinating and administering the clothing allowance benefit program within VHA.

r. Coordinating and administering the HISA Program benefit program within VHA.

s. Participating in professional meetings, conferences, national assemblies and Network meetings of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association, national service organizations, other Government agencies, educational and scientific institutions and private groups where necessary to represent the department and/or program in the broad field of prosthetics. This includes activities associated with the development, implementation and improvement of recognized national voluntary standards for prosthetic and sensory aids.

t. Maintaining current and historical records of activities of the prosthetic and sensory aids program.

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