My Blog
By contactus@pafoot.com
July 23, 2021
Category: Uncategorized
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APMA Lauds Introduction of the HELLPP Act in the 116th Congress
April 11, 2019

Peggy S. Tresky
pstresky@apma.org
301-581-9200
 

WASHINGTON – Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced HR 2235, the Helping Ensure Life- and Limb-Saving Access to Podiatric Physicians (HELLPP) Act, yesterday. The bipartisan legislation will improve patient access to podiatrists in Medicaid and improve care for patients with diabetes who need therapeutic shoes via Medicare. After the passage of the VA Provider Equity Act in the 115th Congress resolved podiatrist-access issues in the Veterans Health Administration, APMA is hopeful Congress will take long overdue action to address these issues for Medicaid patients.

“APMA commends Representatives Diana DeGette and Bill Johnson for their steadfast support of the HELLPP Act. We firmly believe all patients should have access to the best trained and educated foot and ankle physicians and surgeons available, and that means podiatrists,” said APMA Executive Director and CEO James R. Christina, DPM. “This common-sense legislation will resolve multiple issues affecting the quality and efficiency of foot and ankle care.”

The HELLPP Act would recognize podiatrists as physicians under Medicaid. For decades, Medicare has defined doctors of podiatric medicine as “physicians,” but this is not the case in Medicaid. The bill would bring Medicaid in line with Medicare (and a majority of U.S. health-care delivery systems) and ensure that Medicaid patients have access to a range of options presented by the physicians and surgeons who are best trained for the foot and ankle care they seek.

“Essential foot and ankle care shouldn’t be considered a luxury,” Rep. Diana DeGette said. “Financially strapped people who rely on Medicaid, including children and the disabled, should be able to see the same specialists currently available to patients under Medicare. I’m proud to once again partner with Congressman Johnson on legislation to ensure all patients can access the care they need.”

“The bipartisan HELLPP Act would not only enhance patient access by recognizing DPMs as physicians under Medicaid, but importantly, it would also strengthen the program to save the federal government money,” said Rep. Bill Johnson. “During the last session of Congress, a similar bill garnered the support of almost 100 members from all across the political spectrum, demonstrating the broad support this legislation has. I am hopeful that by working with Congresswoman DeGette and other members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, we can advance this legislation across the finish line and see it signed into law.”

The bill would clarify and improve the coordination of care in Medicare’s Therapeutic Shoe Program for patients with diabetes. The current processes and Medicare contractor requirements are unnecessarily burdensome and frequently bogged down, leading to frustration on the part of the certifying physician, prescribing doctor, supplier, and patient. The clarifications in the legislation would remove confusion and regulatory inconsistencies in the provision of this medically necessary benefit.

The bill would strengthen Medicaid program integrity by closing a loophole that allows tax-delinquent Medicaid providers to still receive full Medicaid reimbursements. This provision would save the Medicaid system money and more than offset any additional federal budget costs associated with the recognition of podiatrists as physicians under Medicaid. Such a mechanism already exists in Medicare, so this could save billions of dollars for the public health-care system.

APMA implores Congress to act quickly and decisively to resolve these glaring inconsistencies in our public health-care systems and ensure unrestrained access to quality foot and ankle care for all patients.

 

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 12,500 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit www.apma.org.

The American Podiatric Medical Association announced today its Today’s Podiatrist diabetes campaign, which will educate the public about diabetes and its complications in the feet, as well as the value of a podiatrist in preventing and managing those complications. 

People with diabetes are at a greater risk of injuring their feet due to loss of sensation caused by nerve damage. Injuries that don’t receive prompt attention can easily develop serious infections. Left untreated, nerve damage can cause a deformity in the bones of the feet. People with diabetes also have trouble healing once an injury or an ulcer develops. Diabetic ulcers precede 85 percent of diabetes-related amputations.

Today’s Podiatrists are physicians who help prevent these serious, sometimes life-threatening, complications before they happen. Podiatrists are specialists who have years of training in managing conditions specifically in the feet and ankles. Podiatrists are surgeons who may specialize in limb-sparing wound care and orthopedic procedures, preventing amputations. In fact, studies have shown that care by a podiatrist can reduce lower limb amputations among people with diabetes by up to an astounding 80 percent. Saving limbs keeps people with diabetes mobile, increasing quality and quantity of life.

“Today’s Podiatrist is a critical member of the diabetes care team,” said APMA President Dennis Frisch, DPM. “Feet can be a direct reflection of overall health. Conducting daily foot exams at home and seeing a podiatrist for a full exam at least once a year are vital steps to managing your diabetes.”

Today’s Podiatrist diabetes campaign, which will run throughout November during Diabetes Awareness Month, will share important information about the specific complications of diabetes that occur in the foot and ankle. The campaign also will educate Americans about how simple daily habits and care provided by a podiatrist can help people with diabetes avoid serious outcomes. To learn more about the campaign and Today’s Podiatrist, visit www.apma.org/diabetes.

By contactus@pafoot.com
February 02, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Calculating The Benefits Of An Annual Diabetic Foot Exam

The benefits of having an annual comprehensive diabetic foot exam are too numerous to mention. If a patient sees his or her podiatrist along with one other member of the diabetic foot team, the relative risk reduction of a high level amputation will decrease, with some studies showing a reduction of as much as 80 percent.1

It’s a simple thing. Just the patient getting into see his or her foot doctor can yield significant benefits down the road. We outlined with the American Diabetes Association many years ago what goes into a good quality diabetic foot exam.1

We have also boiled that down to a three-minute foot exam, which is intended for use for technicians or primary care physicians or their physician extenders.2 There are whole companies that have done this. Arche Healthcare has taken this whole idea and extended it even further into a seamless tracking system for diabetic foot ulcers.

All of these put podiatry at the center of the high-risk limb universe. Hopefully, we can make a big difference and keep a few more legs on a few more bodies.

References

1. Boulton AJM, Armstrong DG, Albert SF, et al. Comprehensive foot examination and risk assessment. Diabetes Care. 2008; 31(8):1679–85.

2. Miller JD, Carter E, Shih J, Giovinco NA, Boulton AJ, Mills JL, Armstrong DG. How to do a 3-minute diabetic foot exam. J Fam Pract. 2014; 63(11):646–56.

By Gordon P. Rheaume, DPM
August 02, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Athletes FootAthlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections of the skin and is frequently seen in our office. Whether you've had it or not, it's important to understand how you can avoid and treat this highly contagious infection if you do contract it.

The fungus that causes athlete's foot thrives in damp, moist environments and often grows in warm, humid climates, such as locker rooms, showers and public pools; hence the name "athlete's foot. " This infection can itch and burn causing the skin on your feet and between your toes to crack and peel.

Tips For avoiding Athlete's Foot:

  • Keep your feet dry, allowing them to air out as much as possible
  • Wear socks that draw moisture away from your feet and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
  • Wear light, well-ventilated shoes
  • Alternate pairs of shoes, allowing time for your shoes to dry each day
  • Always wear waterproof shoes in public areas, such as pools, locker rooms, or communal showers
  • Never borrow shoes due to the risk of spreading a fungal infection

Treatment

A mild case of athlete's foot will generally clear up on its own with over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. But since re-infection is common due to its contagious nature, many people require prescribed anti-fungal medication to effectively treat the infection. Generally, it's always best to consult with your podiatrist before choosing a treatment.

Mild cases of athlete's foot can turn severe and even cause a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your rash has become increasingly red, swollen and painful or you develop blisters and sores, call our office right away. Athlete's foot left untreated could eventually spread to other body parts and infect other people around you.

With the right treatment, you'll be cured of your athlete's foot in no time, which means the sooner you can enjoy the activities you love without pain and irritation!

By contactus@pafoot.com
July 10, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
Brielle Day 
bcday@apma.org
 

Simple tips and proper gear can help prevent sports injuries 

WASHINGTON—Americans may be ready to resume walking, running, and other outdoor sports this spring, but are their feet?

One in four Americans feels unable to exercise due to foot pain, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). With this in mind, APMA has announced a new campaign for Foot Health Awareness Month called “Play It Safe,” which will reach athletes of all ages to educate them about the importance of foot health in sports, and a podiatrist’s critical role in helping treat and prevent foot and ankle injuries.

“The amount of running, turning, and physical contact in sports can often translate to injuries,” said APMA President Phillip E. Ward, DPM. “If you or your child experiences a foot or ankle injury while playing sports, early attention is the key to preventing further damage. A delay in treatment can cause toe deformities and other podiatric problems.”

Ankle sprains and breaks are among the most common sports injuries for both adults and children. Children can be especially vulnerable to injury, as their bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are still growing. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat injuries to the lower extremities, and can provide guidance on proper footwear, prescribe custom orthotics, evaluate biomechanics, and more.

The “Play It Safe” campaign, occurring during April’s Foot Health Awareness Month, will share important information about sports injuries, prevention, proper footwear and more. To learn more about the campaign, and to find a podiatrist in your area, visit www.apma.org/playitsafe.

Coming soon.





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