ANA Applauds Introduction of Bill Recognizing APRNs’ Ability to Sign Home Health Plans of Care for Medicare Patients (2/26/15)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2015

CONTACT:
Adam Sachs, 301-628-5034
adam.sachs@ana.org
Jemarion Jones, 301-628-5198
jemarion.jones@ana.org

ANA Applauds Introduction of Bill Recognizing APRNs’ Ability
To Sign Home Health Plans of Care for Medicare Patients

SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds Senators Collins (R-ME) and Schumer (D-NY) for introducing S.578, the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act of 2015. This bill would amend a quirk in the Medicare law which has kept advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), a group that includes nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives, from signing home health care plans and from certifying Medicare patients for the home health benefit.

APRNs are playing an increasing role in American health care delivery. Passage of the Home Health Planning and Improvement Act will reduce Medicare spending. Medicare has recognized the independent practice of APRNs for nearly two decades, and these health care professionals now provide the majority of skilled care to home health patients. These delays in access to home health services inconvenience patients and their families and can result in increased costs when patients are unnecessarily left in more expensive institutional settings.

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ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. Please visit www.nursingworld.org for more information.

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