Senate Takes Action to Strengthen Home Health Care Access for Seniors and Provide Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Providers
AUSTIN, TEXAS — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP), the largest association representing nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties, applauded action taken today by the U.S. Senate to strengthen seniors’ access to home health care services and help protect health care providers by authorizing additional funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of the passage of a third Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) stimulus package. The legislation, approved by the Senate, includes a provision authorizing NPs to certify and recertify home health care services for Medicare patients, expands funding for PPE and provides vital funding to respond to the pandemic.
“The Senate’s vote last night ensures that millions of seniors are able to receive critical health care services at home ― at this crucial time for the health of our nation. Not only will the legislation help make certain seniors have timely access to home health care, it will also help ensure they are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19 by being forced to seek health care at hospitals and other facilities. It will enable our nation to make hospital beds more readily available to COVID-19 patients and others who need them most,” said Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, president of AANP. “We are hearing every day from NPs across the nation who must risk their health to care for patients due to the lack of available PPE, and we thank the Senate for taking action to provide vital funding to protect health care providers working on the front lines of this crisis.”
NPs evaluate patients; make diagnoses; order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests; and initiate and manage treatments — including prescribing medications and non-pharmacologic treatments. They coordinate care and provide counseling and education to patients, families and communities.
“We urge the House to swiftly pass this relief package and deliver it to the President for his signature,” said AANP Chief Executive Officer David Hebert, JD. “With the nation’s 290,000 NPs caring for patients in nearly every community and health care setting, these vital funds for PPE and the authorization to certify access to home health care can help ensure seniors high-quality health care in their homes. This is a huge victory for patients ― and the health of providers combating COVID-19.”
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 290,000 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. To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, go to npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org. For COVID-19 information from AANP, visit http://bit.ly/2QsuRGr.