After a sustained effort by members of the Arizona podiatric medical and vascular surgery community along with support from academics and health care economists, House Bill 2704 passed both the Arizona House and Senate and was signed into law yesterday by Governor Doug Ducey.
“It is heartening to see so many people from the medical and lay community come together to support this data-driven effort to educate our colleagues in the house and senate. When they saw how podiatric care can preserve mobility, limbs and resources, they were able to come to a bipartisan consensus that this care helps people” noted David G. Armstrong, Professor of Surgery and Director of the University of Arizona’s Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA). A study conducted by the SALSA authored by Armstrong, and co-authors vascular surgeon Joseph Mills and economist Grant Skrepnek was widely considered to be instrumental in the effort to educate. The study, entitled “Foot in Wallet Disease” found that, following the repeal of podiatric care from Arizona Medicaid (also known as AHCCCS), hospitalizations increased by more than 37%, length of stay by 23%, per patient hospital charges by 45% and severe aggregate outcomes (sepsis, amputation, death) by 50%.
Patients on Medicaid should now soon be able to receive urgent and preventative services from podiatric physicians.