Publication Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2020

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides medical coverage for low-income Americans meeting certain eligibility criteria. The federal government maintains a list of minimum services that must be covered in state Medicaid plans. Beyond that list, states are free to add additional services such as dental or optical care. Furthermore, states have wide latitude on how they define the eligibility, scope of coverage, and limitations for optional services. The discretion afforded states and complexity of the coverage schemes makes it difficult to get a clear picture of how optional services are provided nationally. One such optional service is coverage for medical care provided by a podiatric physician.  

A growing body of research is demonstrating the importance, both from a clinical and financial standpoint, of providing podiatric services to low-income individuals, specifically those suffering from conditions such as diabetes mellitus. Diabetes sufferers are at a higher risk for developing foot ulcers which can lead to amputation and death. One limitation of the research is the difficulty in conducting large cross-jurisdictional comparisons in outcomes based on different state coverage schemes.

There is little uniformity in how states choose to structure the authorizing legal and programmatic documentation of their Medicaid plan. The information is often spread across statutes, administrative regulations, agency documents, fee schedules, provider manuals, beneficiary informational materials, and websites.

This LawAtlas map identifies and displays key features of state Medicaid coverage for podiatric services across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in effect as of September 1, 2020.