AUSTIN, Texas, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) today congratulated the U.S. Senate for passing Medicare payment reform following the U.S. House of Representatives' overwhelming approval of the measure in March. AANP now urges President Obama to sign the bill as quickly as possible to ensure the unobstructed delivery of high-quality, cost-efficient health care services for our nation's seniors.
According to AANP, the bill is more than a "doc fix," as sometimes called. It is also imperative to the growing ranks of nurse practitioners, highly educated and clinically trained health care providers delivering vital services to our nation's seniors, as well as other patient populations.
While the bill repeals the flawed "sustainable growth rate" (SGR) formula for Medicare Part B – eliminating serious cuts in reimbursement that would have grave consequences for both Medicare recipients and providers, such as nurse practitioners – it also improves health care delivery in ways specific to nurse practitioner patients, including:
- Authorizing nurse practitioners to document evaluations for durable medical equipment
- Including nurse practitioners in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
- Ensuring that nurse practitioner-led Patient Centered Medical Homes are eligible to receive incentive payments for the management of patients with chronic disease
- Reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which will ensure access to care is preserved for millions of children, including those who receive needed services from nurse practitioners
"The national nurse practitioner community is grateful to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for preserving the health services our seniors need, and further recognizing that seniors increasingly rely on the expert care of nurse practitioners who have become the providers of choice for diverse patient populations," said David Hebert, Chief Executive Officer of AANP.
Nurse practitioners serve as primary, acute and specialty care providers across the country. They assess, order, perform and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests; make diagnoses; initiate and manage treatment; prescribe medications and non-pharmacologic treatments; and counsel patients, their families and communities. More than 50 years of peer-reviewed, independent research has shown nurse practitioners to be safe and cost-effective clinicians with patient outcomes that are similar and sometimes better than those of physicians.
Early this year, AANP released data showing that the number of nurse practitioners licensed in the United States has nearly doubled over the past ten years, rising from approximately 106,000 in 2004 to 205,000 as of December 31, 2014.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of more than 205,000 NPs, including approximately 57,500 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 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.
For more information visit aanp.org. To locate a nurse practitioner in your area visit npfinder.com.
SOURCE American Association of Nurse Practitioners