Resources to Fuel Your Inner Researcher
March 27, 2023
Now Is the Time for PAs to Take Action, Become Involved in Grassroots Advocacy
February 7, 2023
By Kristin Butterfield, Director, Grassroots and Political Advocacy
The 118th Congress is in full swing, and advocacy for the PA profession is off to a great start! Two priority bills for the PA profession were recently reintroduced into the new Congress: the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act (S. 131/H.R. 618) and the Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act (S. 260/HR 704).
Laying the foundation for legislative success is critical during the first few months of Congress, and building a relationship with lawmakers is the first step. All PAs are encouraged to be advocates for the profession, and AAPA has numerous tools available for PAs and PA students who want to become involved in grassroots advocacy – go to AAPA’s Advocacy Central and click Grassroots. Additionally, you can help raise awareness of and support for our two priority bills introduced in the House and Senate by taking action on our advocacy alerts that we have created in AAPA’s Advocacy Action Center.
Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act (S. 131/H.R. 618)
S. 131/H.R. 618 was reintroduced on January 31 by Reps. Tim Walberg (R-M) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Currently, federal employees who are injured on the job cannot receive treatment provided and overseen by a PA when using federal workers compensation coverage. This long-outdated restriction unnecessarily limits federal workers’ access to quality medical care provided by PAs and may disrupt continuity of and timely access to care.
This legislation would modernize the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) to allow injured federal employees to receive care that is provided and overseen by PAs and NPs. The bill passed the House of Representatives on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in 2022 but did not clear the Senate before the close of the 117th Congress.
Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act (S. 260/H.R. 704)
The Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act (S. 260/H.R. 704) was reintroduced on February 3 by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Darin LaHood (R-IL). The legislation will authorize PAs to certify the need for Medicare patients to obtain diabetic/therapeutic shoes.
Current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations do not allow PAs to order diabetic shoes. For diabetic Medicare beneficiaries who receive care from a PA, S. 260/H.R. 704 will provide timely access to needed diabetic shoes.
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