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Media Contact: Bryan Black
WASHINGTON — The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) expresses its strong support for the Improving Care and Access to Nurses (ICAN) Act. AANP thanks Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) for introducing this legislation, which would improve health care access for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by removing barriers to practice for nurse practitioners (NPs) and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
“The health of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries depends on timely access to high-quality health care. Today, millions of patients are choosing NPs as their health care providers. This legislation would retire barriers to practice that impede access to timely health care for our patients,” said AANP President April Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN. “It’s critically important that health care policies reflect who is providing care in our communities and that our health care system is effective and efficient. The ICAN Act would move health care delivery forward for patients, providers and our nation.”
NPs provide health care to Medicare and Medicaid patients across all geographic areas and health care settings. Approximately 40% of Medicare beneficiaries receive care from NPs, and NPs are the fastest growing Medicare provider group. Yet, despite the essential health care NPs provide to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, barriers still exist within the programs that prevent NPs from practicing to the full extent of their education and clinical training.
The ICAN Act would increase access to medically necessary health care services for patients across the country by removing outdated federal barriers to care. This bill would authorize NPs to order and supervise 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. These common-sense steps would update the Medicare and Medicaid programs, to reflect the modern health care workforce and ensure patients continue to receive the high-quality health care they need and deserve — from their chosen health care provider.
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.