Monday, June 1, 2009

May the Schwartz be with you...

Representative Allyson Schwartz along with nearly 100 cosponsors recently introduced House of Representatives Bill 2350, Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act of 2009. The legislation will improve access to primary care and increase the number of primary care providers in part by allowing the Nation's nurse practitioners to lead the Patient Centered Medical Home.

Here is the full text of the Bill.

This has the potential to be monumental legislation for our nation. In addition, an unprecedented number of physician (American Academy of Physicians & American Academy of Family Physicians) and nurse practitioner organizations (American College of Nurse Practitioners & National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) are supporting this bill. Though it seems that the AAFP is begrudgingly "putting up" with the inclusion of NPs as evidenced by AAFP Chairperson Jim King, M.D.:

The legislation also would allow nurse-practitioner-managed practices to serve as medical homes, as long as they meet the same standards applied to physician practices. Not surprisingly, this has prompted concern from the AAFP."We have some concerns with the way that the legislation includes nonphysician providers in a role similar to that of physicians, especially in the implementation of the patient-centered medical home," King said. "Without data showing the comparability of nonphysician providers to primary care physicians -- whose training and experience are much more intense and extensive -- it is a risk to allow these providers to deliver these services without the standard level of supervision."

These guys continue to play the turf war and it is getting so very tired. Nurse Practitioners want to partner and collaborate with physicians. When they throw around terms like "supervision" it becomes clear that they are only concerned about being the captain of the ship rather than working with everyone to support the efforts of having enough primary care access in this country. We need to have the right provider caring for the patient at the right time and place.

Nurse Practitioners are ready to step up and offer an out of the box solution to address our shortage of primary care. NPs need no further formalized training or education (yet we all know that you must be dedicated to lifelong learning in this field).

Please encourage your Representatives to support this legislation. We can't afford a ripe opportunity for meaningful health reform to pass us by....

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