WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Reps. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced HR 1761, the Helping Ensure Life- and Limb-Saving Access to Podiatric Physicians (HELLPP) Act, to the 113th Congress.
If enacted as written, the HELLPP Act will accomplish three important goals:
- Define doctors of podiatric medicine as physicians under Medicaid
- Clarify coordination of care in the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program for persons with diabetes
- Strengthen Medicaid program integrity
"APMA has been working diligently with Congress to remove patient access barriers to podiatric physicians and surgeons for nearly a decade. The introduction of this common-sense, bipartisan reform legislation today marks a significant step forward for our profession and for patients, especially the millions with diabetes whom we treat every day," said Matthew G. Garoufalis, DPM, APMA president. "We will continue to fight this battle to the end and ensure today's podiatrists are rightfully recognized by the federal government and that life and limb saving services performed by podiatrists are available to those in need."
The bipartisan HELLPP Act includes multiple comprehensive reforms and goes further than APMA's previous Medicaid reform legislation - which focused solely on ensuring inclusion of podiatrists in Medicaid to guarantee today's podiatrists will continue to save lives, limbs, and health-care dollars. The end result of implementing these changes would be drastic improvements to patient access to quality foot and ankle care and tremendous savings for the Medicaid system.
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