"We applaud the VA for taking this important action in support of veterans' health which will immediately improve veterans' access to care," said Major General Vincent Boles, U.S. Army (retired).
According to the VA, more than 505,000 veterans are wait-listed for 30 days and nearly 300,000 are waiting between 31 and 60 days for health care services. The proposal is an effort to modernize the VA system and adopt a 21st century approach to health care delivery.
"Our campaign, 'Veterans Deserve Care,' brings together the voices of veterans, caregivers, community organizations, and nurse practitioners," said Hebert. "We urge Americans to take action to support the VA's proposal by visiting VeteransDeserveCare.org to submit their public comments before the official comment deadline, July 25, 2016."
Today, 4,800 NPs work across the VA providing clinical assessments, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, making diagnoses, and initiating and managing treatment plans, including prescribing medications. Patients in 21 states and the District of Columbia already have direct access to NP care, with outcomes equivalent to or better than those of physicians. In the last year alone NPs provided more than 800 million patient care visits. NPs hold graduate degrees, national certification, and have years of academic and clinical education.
"We bring a 50-year track record of service to patients, including those in our nation's military and veterans," said Cooke. "The proposed rule is zero risk at zero cost to ensure that our veterans have zero delay to access needed, timely care in the VA system. After all, one veteran left waiting for care is one veteran too many," Cooke concluded.
The VA's proposal recognizes the results of decades of research confirming the outstanding patient outcomes NPs deliver. This large and ever growing body of evidence has led the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), AARP, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others to recommend providing patients direct access to APRNs. In addition, the proposal is supported by organizations from the Military Officers Association of America to the Air Force Sergeants Association.
The VA's proposed rule will be open for public comment until July 25, 2016. To date, it has received more than 40,000 comments--the most in VA history.
About American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
(AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 222,000 NPs, including more than 68,000 individual members and 200 organizations, providing a unified networking platform and advocating for their role as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered and personalized healthcare. 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. Visit www.aanp.org to learn more.
CONTACT: Will Rijksen, 202-715-3922, email@example.com
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SOURCE American Association of Nurse Practitioners