AAPA Legislative Agenda Underscores Importance of Patient-Centered, Team-Based Health Care Team to Patient Health

Feb 10, 2011, 15:29 ET from American Academy of Physician Assistants

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Physician Assistants' legislative agenda for the 112th Congress outlines policy priorities that seek to ensure all patients have access to cost-effective, high-quality health care delivered by a team of providers that includes physician assistants.

"Critical to our nation's efforts to improve health care and prevent costly chronic illness is the full utilization of physician assistants on the patient care team," said Patrick Killeen, president of AAPA. "The PA-physician team is a model for health care delivery that stands to help all Americans — even those in remote and underserved areas — live long and live well. We encourage this Congress to eliminate unnecessary barriers to PA practice by integrating PAs into all federal programs focused on promoting growth in the primary care workforce."

As Congress explores how to best mitigate health care costs, AAPA urges policymakers to completely support policies that allow PAs to practice to their fullest potential and improve patient outcomes. AAPA's legislative priorities include:

  • Allowing PAs to provide hospice care for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Amending the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to extend Medicaid EHR incentives to all PAs who meet the required threshold of care for Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • Amending federal law to allow PAs to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction.

AAPA also urges Congress to allow PAs to diagnose and treat federal workers who are injured on the job and to expand PA education and profession development. By supporting the growth of the PA workforce and expanding reimbursements for its services, these policies can boost the effectiveness of the U.S. health care system. AAPA welcomes the opportunity to join in a system transformation that truly meets the health care needs of all Americans. See the full agenda here: www.aapa.org/images/stories/Advocacy-fact-sheets/Legislative_Agenda_112th_Congress.pdf.

Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of over 78,000 clinically practicing PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, and within the armed forces and federal services. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. AAPA works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants. It also works to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered health care. Visit us at http://www.aapa.org.

SOURCE American Academy of Physician Assistants