APMA’s ambitious legislative efforts continue with the introduction of HR 2545, to clarify the role of doctors of podiatric medicine in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
APMA President Jeffrey R. DeSantis, DPM, testified on behalf of APMA before the Health Subcommittee of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on April 15, to request that Congress correct a technical oversight in the VA MISSION Act, to align the podiatric medical director position with all other medical director positions in the VA. The correction would also ensure the VA is able to recruit a podiatrist to fill the Podiatric Medical Director position in the event of a vacancy.
Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH), supported the legislation through testimony to the House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee legislative hearing on April 15. Dr. Wenstrup served as chair of this subcommittee in the 115th Congress and led the VA Provider Equity Act, which became Section 502 of the VA MISSION Act. This legislation placed podiatrists in the same pay schedule as physicians and dentists, and clarified that podiatrists are eligible for leadership opportunities within the VA and are to be treated the same as any other physician.
After the VA implemented the pay changes, podiatry stakeholders realized the director of podiatric service wasn’t listed as a physician position and therefore was not able to be compensated commensurate with the salaries of their peers.