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Washington D.C. — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners(AANP), joined by 86 additional nurse practitioner (NP) organizations nationwide, issued a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar applauding the President’s recent Executive Order on Medicare, entitled Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors, and urging that CMS take swift action to further implement the intent of Section 5 in its annual rulemaking process.
"This initiative will strengthen health care access for our nation's seniors and we strongly support it," said David Hebert, CEO of AANP. "The current system has exacerbated clinician shortages, creating barriers to care that put seniors' health at risk. By removing burdensome regulations and allowing all clinicians to work to the top of their profession, our nation will improve patient access to care while lowering costs. As we begin a new year, it's our hope that Secretary Azar will move forward with the Administration's request to implement policies which put patients first and empower them with access to care delivered by the provider of their choice."
More than 130,000 NPs bill for Medicare services, making them one of the largest and fastest-growing Medicare-designated providers. Based on Medicare claims data, approximately 1 out of every 3 Medicare patients receive billable services from an NP, and over 82% of NPs are currently accepting new Medicare patients. With approximately 73% of all NP graduates delivering primary care, NPs comprise approximately one-quarter of the primary care workforce.
"The numbers and decades of data speak for themselves. The NP community is committed to serving Medicare beneficiaries and supports seniors' access to high-quality, accessible, patient-centered care. We are encouraged by the Administration's movement thus far and urge them to swiftly move to implement the intent of Section 5 in its annual rulemaking process," said Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, President of AANP.
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 the more than 270,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP 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 NPs' patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information and to locate an NP in your community, visit WeChooseNPs.org.