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ARNPs United of Washington State

What you can do: Updates on Federal Legislation from the 2016 AANP Health Policy Conference

Posted over 2 years ago by Nancy Lawton

Updates on Federal Legislation from the 2016 AANP Health Policy Conference

Currently 177 U.S. House Representatives support H.R. 1342/S. 578 the Medicare amendment permitting nurse practitioners to authorize Home Health Care for our patients. We need 218 votes to move it to the Senate. Who in the Washington state delegation has not yet signed in support?

  • Jim McDermott, Democrat from the Seattle area
  • Dave Reichert, Republican from Bellevue and Issaquah
  • Dan Newsome, Republican from Yakima and central Washington
  • Cathy McMorris Rogers, Republican from Spokane and eastern Washington

What can You do? If you are from the district of one of these representatives, use the AANP advocacy sitehttps: www.aanp.org/legislation-regulation/advocacy-center to contact your Representative and ask to support this legislation.

We have bipartisan backing. Doc Hastings from Yakima signed on previously, but his replacement, Representative Dan Newsome, is not yet familiar on how the current Medicare rules create barriers to care for patients. Jim McDermott supported this previously and will again if you let him know NOW is the time to move forward. Senator Maria Cantwell has endorsed this legislation; we need Senator Patty Murray to join in.

Many bills are being introduced authorizing Nurse Practitioners to provide Medication Assisted Therapies for opioid addiction treatment, including buprenorphine therapy. Let your representative know that, with appropriate training, NPs are skilled and capable to participate in this needed therapeutic option. We are not endorsing a specific bill at this time, it is unclear which will move forward. What we need our representatives to understand is the language must be provider neutral to permit the greatest possible access to care for our patients.

S. 2259 Enables our patients to be beneficiaries in Medicare Shared Savings Accountable Care Organizations. This legislation has made it through the Senate committees and needs to be moved forward by Senator Maria Cantwell's office over to the House of Representatives. Urge her to move this legislation during the next Legislative Work Session.

NEW LEGISLATION: H.R. 4756 allows Nurse Practitioners to certify need for diabetic footwear for our Medicare patients. The legislation passed in 2015 permitted specific kinds of Durable Medical Equipment to be authorized by Nurse Practitioners, but diabetic footwear was not included. We need a sponsor for this legislation. Contact your Representative and ask him or her to sponsor this and end to delays in care that could endanger our patients.

I am happy to accompany anyone who wants to schedule an appointment with your representative. Please feel free to contact me at nelawton1@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Nancy Lawton, MN, ARNP, FNP President, ARNPs United of Washington State; Washington State Representative, AANP