Current Issues in Health Care: Diabetic Shoe fitting

womensshoeAs our healthcare system continues to evolve, pharmacy as it is practiced today is changing, and hopefully for the better. Here is the last of four topics hat are in the “hot seat” as we round up the first half of 2014:

Summary

Pharmacies around the state of Iowa pride themselves as being able to provide more than just prescription and over-the-counter medications. One of these services is the fitting and selling of therapeutic shoes. These are most often for diabetic patients suffering from neuropathy (continual loss of sensation) in their feet. Approximately three months ago, Iowa pharmacies were informed that, starting on July 1st of 2014, it was no longer within their legal means to help patients find the right shoe and minimize their discomfort 7.

Current Standing

After receiving this news, the Iowa Pharmacy Association immediately went to work to resolve this issue. To allow pharmacists to keep providing useful assistance to their patients, IPA met with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy and Attorney General’s Office, other accrediting organizations, and even shoe manufacturers. The IPA’s proactive response led to the Iowa Board of Podiatry and Board of Pharmacy writing a total of eight letters to accrediting organizations and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Within the three months of lobbying, it was determined Iowa pharmacies will be able to continue therapeutic shoe fitting 7.

How are YOU, the patient, affected?

Continuing this service will allow pharmacists to help patients achieve these four objectives in shoe fitting as laid out by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society: (1) relieve areas of excessive pressure, (2) reduce shock and shear, (3) accommodate, stabilize, and support deformities, and (4) limit the motion of joints to decrease inflammation 8. If you have questions or concerns about diabetic neuropathy, ask your local pharmacist today. Therapeutic shoe fitting is also provided at the majority of NuCara stores.

References for all four topics:

1. http://www.ashp.org/DocLibrary/Advocacy/HR-4190.pdf
2. As of June 20th, 2014 on https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4190
3. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror
4. https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4577?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr4577%22%5D%7D
5. http://thehill.com/opinion/letters/191831-preferred-pharmacy-networks-limit-choices
6. http://www.iarx.org/documents/Jun%2013_NPM%20Press%20Release%20June%202014.pdf).
7. Letter from CEO of IPA Kate Gainer on June 19th, 2014. Further questions or requests for information can be emailed to ipa@iarx.org.
8. http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/diabetic-foot/Pages/Shoes-and-Orthotics-for-Diabetics.aspx

 

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