Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bipartisan support for facilitating patient access to podiatric care #HELLPP Act

Tell Your Elected Officials to Cosponsor the HELLPP Act Today!

Yesterday, Sens. 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 in the US Senate. This bill is identical to HR 1761, a companion bill in the House. Unlike previous legislation that has focused solely on recognizing DPMs as physicians under Medicaid, the bipartisan HELLPP Act includes multiple comprehensive reforms and goes further to ensure podiatric physicians will continue to save lives, limbs, and health-care dollars. The net result of implementing these common-sense provisions would be significant improvements to patient access to quality foot and ankle care and tremendous savings for the Medicaid and Medicare programs.
Earlier this week, US Representative Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH), signed on as a cosponsor in support of the House version of the bill. Rep. Wenstrup, a podiatrist of 26 years and US combat surgeon, knows firsthand the challenges that both doctors and patients encounter under the current Medicaid and Medicare programs. Last year, he became the first doctor of podiatric medicine elected to Congress.
Rep. Wenstrup joins a growing list of cosponsors for the HELLPP Act. However, we are only one-tenth of the way to our goal of 218 signatures, or half the House. Additionally, there remain 98 senators who must be educated about the benefits of podiatric medicine. Every cosponsor we add increases the chance of this legislation moving forward.
We know that grassroots advocacy works, so we need you, our members, to do your part through our eAdvocacy site. If you have already contacted your legislators about this issue through eAdvocacy, then please pick up the telephone and call your representative and senators' Washington, DC, offices, speak with the health staff using our compelling arguments, and don't stop until your lawmakers are cosponsors. Use our resources and tell them why patients with diabetes and other complex lower-extremity conditions need access to podiatric medicine. Explain to your legislators that this bill has a budget offset, and ultimately will save the American health-care system a tremendous amount of money. Demand that your elected leaders do the right thing for Medicaid patients and podiatric medicine.
We won't rest until all Americans have access to high-quality foot and ankle care delivered by the best educated and trained physicians: our members. We ask you to make the same commitment.

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