Return to the Winter 2019 Newsletter

President's Letter

Dr. Tony Kim

Dear Friends, 

Happy New Year! This will be my last letter to you as a President of WSPMA. It was an honor to serve you and thank you for allowing me to serve. First, I would like to express my deep loss of our friend and past board member Dr. Daren Vernon who has passed on Feb. 3, 2019. He was very passionate about our profession and committed to WSPMA to his last day. I will miss him terribly.

As I write this newsletter article, we are beginning week four of the 2019 legislative session. Our legislative team of Gail McGaffick and Melanie Stewart always have our back, currently reviewing the titles of over 1,500 bills that have been introduced thus far. Together with WSPMA’s Legislative Committee, chaired by Drs. Molina Kochhar and Susan Scanlan, key bills are reviewed during weekly conference calls. Please see articles in this newsletter concerning the 2019 legislative session. In addition, the WSPMA Board recently held its January meeting and Lobby Day in Olympia where we met with legislators to talk about issues important to podiatry. A key issue for 2019 is WSPMA’s opposition of a B&O tax increase. Please read the article on this topic, so you can learn how to stop this tax increase!

As I look forward, podiatry still faces challenges in being included as a mandatory service under Medicaid, as well as being considered one of the types of physicians who can work with physician assistants. Furthermore, we also need to look back at what we have accomplished recently.

  • We have achieved pay equity for VA podiatrists. 
  • We have defeated a proposed CMS rule that would have changed certification requirements for podiatric physicians furnishing and fabricating prosthetics and custom orthotics. 
  • We have defeated a separate Medicare fee schedule for DPMs
  • We can continue to use modifier 25.

These achievements occurred due to your membership and the long, diligent work of APMA, who advocates on behalf of ALL DPMs (members and non-members). All of this illustrates the value of your membership in WSPMA and APMA.

My Friends: serve your community well; pursue excellence in your practice; and be very successful. The WSPMA Board and the legislative branch (Gail, Melanie, Legislative Committee) of WSPMA will keep working to review proposed legislation, as well as rules.

The WSPMA Annual Conference which will be held at Tacoma’s Hotel Murano April 5–7, 2019, is in full throttle. Dr. Debbie Behre is the Chair and she has worked diligently with Terry Onustack, WSPMA’s Executive Director. My thanks to them both. They reported at our recent Board meeting in Olympia that the Conference program includes many well-respected lecturers who are experts in their field. And I know that many of you were able to take advantage of Early Bird registration. This is a new location for us. I was informed that there are variety of restaurants and points of interest that attendees can check out in downtown Tacoma. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Respectfully,

Tony DH Kim, DPM
WSPMA President