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Lobbying With Colleagues for Amendments to SMART Act

Feb 7, 2013 - Joseph Borreggine

Illinois Podiatric Medical Association (IPMA) representatives went to Springfield, Illinois on February 7, 2013 to discuss Medicaid issues regarding needed SMART (Save Medicaid access and resources together) Act reforms went into effect on July 1, 2012. The FY 2013 state budget required significant spending reductions and new revenues to fill a $2.7 billion budget hole in the Medicaid Program.

Dr. Borreggine with Senator Dale Righter
Dr. Joseph Borreggine with Senator Dale Righter

Dr. Joseph Borreggine, a Charleston/Effingham podiatrist, Past IPMA President, and the current IPMA Health Care Reform Committee Chair along with his colleagues met with Senator Dale Righter and three of the other bipartisan co-chair members of the Illinois Medicaid Advisory Committee to discuss the possible reforms to the current SMART Act. Based on the SMART act, podiatric physicians in Illinois are limited to only treating Medicaid patients under the age of 19 without restriction. However, anyone over 19 years old must be a diabetic to be seen by a podiatrist. Unfortunately, this has limited patient access and care for many who could see podiatrists in the past.

With the pending federally mandated health care reforms requiring Health Insurance Exchanges, Illinois podiatrist fear that they may not be included in these exchanges based on the SMART act exclusions which are supposed to save money by reducing patient access to many other healthcare services like adult podiatric care (http://www2.illinois.gov/hfs/agency/pages/budget.aspx).

Dr. Borreggine and his colleagues lobbied these legislators to try and get amendments to the SMART Act. They requested that the podiatric care limitations be removed. To prove the importance of podiatric medicine in Illinois' health care system, these podiatric physicians cited recent surveys, medical outcome studies, and other supportive literature that demonstrate the tremendous cost savings podiarists generally can provide.


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