Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) today introduced H.R. 3364, The Equity and Access for Podiatric Physicians under Medicaid Act. This legislation amends title XIX of the Social Security Act to cover physician services delivered by podiatric physicians, ensuring that Medicaid beneficiaries have access to appropriate quality foot and ankle care.
For more than 40 years, doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) have been recognized as physicians in Medicare, but not Medicaid. Terry's legislation addresses this inconsistency.
Terry, a member of the House Diabetes Caucus, pointed out a higher-than-average percentage of Medicaid beneficiaries are at risk for diabetes and related lower limb complications. Podiatric physicians are highly trained and play an important role in the recognition and treatment of conditions such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular disease, all of which are particularly prevalent among the Medicaid population.
Evidence shows that when DPMs are part of administering medical and surgical foot and ankle care, outcomes are better, hospitalizations are fewer and shorter, and our health care system saves millions of dollars annually.
"The timing of this legislation is crucial, as more and more Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, which can lead to additional health problems, causing great expenses to our Medicaid rolls. Enactment of this act would effectively save lives, save limbs, and save money for the Medicaid program--for every state and for the federal government," Terry said.