After months of APMA's advocacy, the US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has explicitly included podiatric physicians in its definition of physicians classified as essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
This oversight was first brought to APMA’s attention in March 2020. The original guidance from CISA stated:
“Health-care providers and caregivers including physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, optometrists, speech pathologists, chiropractors, and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists.”
While podiatric physicians are considered physicians under Medicare, APMA heard there was some confusion based on CISA’s guidance document and submitted formal comments to Acting Secretary Wolf, requesting that the term “physician” be clarified to mean “MD, DO, or DPM.”
Last week, CISA finally announced a technical fix, retroactive to March 16, which explicitly included DPMs. The relevant section now states:
“Health-care providers including, but not limited to, physicians (MD/DO/DPM); dentists; psychologists; midlevel practitioners; nurses; assistants and aids; infection control and quality assurance personnel; phlebotomists; pharmacists; physical, respiratory, speech and occupational therapists and assistants; social workers; optometrists; speech pathologists; chiropractors; diagnostic and therapeutic technicians; and radiology technologists.”