URGENT: Call or write to your state Senators and ask them to co-sponsor and support Senate Bill 1871 VA Provider Equity Act to ensure the podiatry profession continues on its path to parity.
Why does this matter to you?
1. Currently VA podiatrists are in an outdated pay scale (over 40+ years) despite performing similar tasks and responsibilities as MD and DO physicians in the VA. The passage of the bill will place VA podiatrists into the VA Physicians Pay Band. Currently the Physicians pay band contains MD, DO and dentists....yes dentists. By significantly altering the podiatrists pay (equitable with their allopathic colleagues), improved recruitment and retention of qualified podiatrists and a higher percentage of board certified podiatrists (ABPM & ABFAS) will have a significantly positive effect on the care and treatment of our nation's veterans.
2. Podiatry will then be removed from the VA category of Allied Health and enter into the VA physician category. Other Federal agencies will likely follow suit, as podiatrists in the U.S. Armed Forces, (Air Force, Army, Navy) may move from the Medical Service Corp to the Medical Corp (with MD, DO physicians) where salary increases and promotions will then be available. Indian Health and Public Health Services will also follow suit.
3. Podiatry will then be on track for the day by day journey toward parity with other allopathic specialties. In addition to all practicing podiatrists, this one factor alone is extremely important to every podiatry student and resident. Our profession is on the brink of momentous and significant change in this regard. It falls upon ALL of us, therefore, to contact our Senators and request their support for Senate bill S-1871, or this effort will fail.
If you call your Senator's offices, please use the following talking points:
1. VA wait times for podiatry services are among the worst for any VA provider specialty. This places Veterans with acute needs at risk for morbid consequences.
2. VA has enormous difficulty recruiting experienced providers and retaining the quality providers it does have.
3. The current antiquated law is 41 years old. This law needs to be changed in order to provide Veterans access to the care they deserve by allowing the VA to attract and retain experienced providers.
If you wish to help support this bill, please utilize the APMA e-advocacy site at www.apmaeadvocacy.org. APMA has made this very easy with templated letters for easy use and delivery.
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