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WASHINGTON (July 20, 2023) – The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) commends Sens. Merkley (D-OR) and Lummis (R-WY) for introducing the Improving Care and Access to Nurses (ICAN) Act in the U.S. Senate. This legislation would improve health care access for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by removing federal barriers to practice for nurse practitioners (NPs) and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
“Every day, nurse practitioners are striving to meet our country’s growing need for high-quality health care in all practice settings yet outdated federal barriers limit patient access to NP-provided care,” said AANP President Stephen Ferrara, DNP. “This important legislation will move our nation’s health care system toward one that more accurately reflects the modern health care workforce. It is vital that the millions of Medicare and Medicaid patients who choose NPs receive timely access to high-quality health care. AANP applauds the introduction of the ICAN Act by Senators Merkley and Lummis in the U.S. Senate, and we urge its swift passage by Congress.”
NPs are the fastest-growing Medicare provider group, and approximately 40% of Medicare beneficiaries receive NP-delivered care. The ICAN Act would improve timely access to care by authorizing NPs to order cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, certify when patients with diabetes need therapeutic shoes, have their patients fully included in the beneficiary attribution process for the Medicare Shared Savings Program, refer patients for medical nutrition therapy, certify and recertify a patient’s terminal illness for hospice eligibility, perform all mandatory examinations in skilled nursing facilities, and more.
AANP strongly supports the ICAN Act and efforts to modernize policies that will ensure every American has timely access to high-quality health care from their chosen health care provider. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives introduced companion legislation that has garnered the support of more than 235 national, state and local organizations.
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 355,000 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 an NP in your community, visit npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.