AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Angela Golden, President of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), today issued the following statement concerning the report, "Primary Care for the 21st Century: Ensuring a Quality, Physician-led Team for Every Patient," released by the American Academy of Family Physicians:
"The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners strongly supports patient-centered and team-based care models. However, AANP believes that AAFP's efforts to link these evolving models of care with the licensure of nurse practitioner (NP) practice are misdirected and out of step with today's environment. More specifically, AAFP's position is directly contrary to the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In fact, the requirement for physician-leadership of a health care home, as proposed by the AAFP, is inconsistent with the requirements set by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), URAC, and the Joint Commission, each a well-known and respected organization currently accrediting patient-centered health care homes led by NPs.
"As our nation looks to address health care provider workforce challenges, we must embrace the diversity of care models that multiple disciplines sharing overlapping knowledge and skills can offer our country. For nearly half a century, NPs have been providing quality care and offering increased health care access to millions of patients. More than 100 studies analyzing care provided by both NPs and physicians have demonstrated that NPs have the same or better patient outcomes when compared to physicians. Making full use of the NP workforce is a critical piece of a multi-pronged solution to address the urgent need for health care access in our nation. The ongoing attempts by the AAFP to limit the ability of NPs to practice to the full extent of their education and training only serves to increase the already overwhelming hardships placed on millions of Americans who are struggling to gain access to high quality health care.
"Prepared at the graduate level, with master's degrees or doctorates, NPs provide a variety of critical health services, including evaluating patients, making diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, writing prescriptions, and managing acute and chronic health conditions—including the oversight of patients with multiple and complex chronic illness. NPs are providers of choice for millions of individuals and families. They are especially educated and prepared to care for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the medically underserved, and those who live in rural areas that have more acutely experienced the primary care provider shortage.
"As the United States implements historic changes to our health care system and as the shortage of physicians continues to grow, NPs must be full participants in the initiatives emerging from all corners of our industry in order to best protect and preserve the health of our population."
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the oldest and largest national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties. Created in 1985, it represents the interests of approximately 155,000 NPs across the country, providing a unified networking platform, and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized health care. The organization provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers.
SOURCE American Academy of Nurse Practitioners