Senate Introduces Legislation to Modernize US Health Care
Congressman Wenstrup Cosponsors the HELLPP Act to ensure podiatric physicians continue saving lives, limbs, and health-care dollars
WASHINGTON, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, US Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced S 1318, The Helping Ensure Life- and Limb-Saving Access to Podiatric Physicians (HELLPP) Act. The measure is identical companion legislation to HR 1761 introduced in the House of Representatives, and cosponsored by US Representative Brad Wenstrup, DPM (OH-2).
The HELLPP Act would improve Medicare and Medicaid health outcomes and enhance patient choices. If enacted as written, the HELLPP Act would accomplish these important goals by defining doctors of podiatric medicine as physicians under Medicaid and clarifying coordination of care in the current Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program for persons with diabetes.
"Podiatrists have been recognized as physicians under Medicare for over 40 years. The HELLPP Act will extend this recognition to Medicaid and help ensure that Medicaid patients have access to podiatric care in all fifty states. This bill is particularly timely, given the increasing prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related foot conditions; it also saves taxpayers money," said Congressman Brad Wenstrup, DPM. "As the first podiatrist to be elected to Congress, I am proud to support this common sense solution to meet the needs of patients and taxpayers."
Wenstrup, a podiatrist of 26 years and U.S. combat surgeon, knows first-hand the challenges that both doctors and patients encounter under the current Medicaid and Medicare programs.
"APMA is glad to have the full support of Congressman Wenstrup, a true leader in our profession who defines today's podiatrist and is an important part of the forward moving direction we are headed," said Matthew G. Garoufalis, DPM, APMA president. "Podiatrists will be rightfully recognized by the federal government under this new legislation, therefore its passage is of utmost importance."
The bipartisan HELLPP Act's provisions to remove patient access barriers to podiatrists will help bring about not only enhanced patient choices to quality foot and ankle care, but also tremendous savings for the Medicaid program.
More information about the HELLPP Act and podiatric medicine can be found online at www.apma.org/saving.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the nation's leading professional organization for today's podiatrists. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and structures of the leg. APMA has 53 state component locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership of more than 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit www.apma.org.
SOURCE American Podiatric Medical Association