Q: Can podiatrists prescribe and/or administer tests for COVID-19 diagnosis?
Whether or not podiatrists have the authority to prescribe and/or administer COVID-19 tests is dependent on state law, and APMA recommends that podiatrists contact their state licensing board (e.g., board of podiatry/board of medicine) for a determination on state law.
Q: Can podiatrists prescribe and/or administer vaccines for COVID-19?
Whether or not podiatrists have the authority to prescribe and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines is dependent on state law, and APMA recommends that podiatrists contact their state licensing board (e.g., board of podiatry/board of medicine) for a determination on state law.
APMA sent a letter to the National Governors Association urging governors nationwide to include podiatrists in the first phase of vaccinations for health-care providers and to allow podiatrists to prescribe and administer the vaccine.
Q: Should DPMs continue treating patients?
APMA recommends that you follow local and/or facility guidance pertaining to elective ambulatory provider visits.
Q: Should I continue with elective surgeries?
APMA recommends you follow local and/or facility guidance pertaining to elective procedures.
Q: Limiting my practice creates a financial hardship for me and my staff. Where can I find help?
APMA has compiled information on small business assistance. Access it at www.apma.org/covid19sba.
Access a summary of provisions from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act that may affect your practice.
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The legislation extends the CARES ACT’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) to March 14, 2021, and allows individuals receiving benefits as of March 14, 2021, to continue through April 5, 2021, as long as the individual has not reached the maximum number of weeks. The legislation also restores the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplement to all state and federal unemployment benefits at $300 per week, starting after December 26 and ending March 14, 2021.
Q: Does APMA have guidance about providing telehealth services?
Yes; visit our telehealth resources page. Members may need to provide telephone services and online digital evaluation and management services during this time. CMS has announced major changes to services that podiatrists can furnish remotely under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. This waiver allows Medicare to pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth. This change means podiatrists can submit CPT 99201–99215 when these services are provided remotely.
Q: How do I protect myself from contracting coronavirus in the health-care setting?
APMA recommends you prepare following the CDC advice:
Although you may not currently be experiencing COVID-19 exposure issues in your practice setting, now is the time to prepare. Start by familiarizing yourself with these infection control practices in the event you encounter someone with symptoms:
Q: What should I do if a patient or staff member tests positive?
APMA has recommendations in the COVID-19 Toolkit.
Q: Why are so many continuing education events being canceled?
The CDC's guidance for large events and mass gatherings for the next eight weeks is to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
Q: How will I meet continuing education requirements to maintain my license with so many cancellations?
APMA is advocating for its members with the Federation of Podiatric Medical Boards. APMA’s Center for Professional Advocacy wrote a letter to the Federation of Podiatric Medical Boards (FPMB) to encourage member boards to allow online CECH and to allow extra time for DPMs to obtain CECH.
In response, the FPMB has recommended that its member board consider waivers, extensions, and modifications of licensing requirements, e.g., allowing or increasing online CECH. The FPMB also has compiled an outstanding state-by-state guide to coronavirus updates.
Q: Does APMA have information for patients?
APMA is creating materials for our members to use with patients. Our top priority is to encourage patients to keep their regular appointments with their podiatrist and to educate them about the precautions podiatrists are taking to keep them safe. Check out our 2020 Diabetes Awareness Month campaign, "Keep Your Appointment. Keep Your Feet," available at www.apma.org/diabetes. Visit the member tool kit on that page to download materials to share with your patients.
We also encourage members to use the outstanding resources the CDC has designed for a public audience. Here are a few examples:
Q: Is APMA open for business?
Rest assured, APMA is here and providing the member services you trust. Our staff is working remotely and remains available to assist you. Read a statement from APMA Executive Director and CEO James R. Christina, DPM, about the current status of APMA headquarters.