United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia

Health Policy and Legislative News Notes

Posted about 7 years ago by Laura Searcy

Health Policy and Legislative New Notes May 22, 2012

Submitted by Laura Searcy, UAPRN Health Policy Director

This update contains three items:
  1. Important information for all APRN’s as this year’s election process unfolds
  2. New Final Rule From the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) affecting APRN’s      
  3. Links to two articles of interest                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

This summer and fall will see a very busy election season, with elections for President of the United States, Congress, and a variety of local elections.

Of particular importance to advanced practice nurses in Georgia, will be elections for every seat in both branches of the Georgia General Assembly (House and Senate).

This is a golden opportunity to educate and inform the candidates for election to the General Assembly about the education and abilities of APRN’s and the barriers that exist in Georgia that prevent us from doing all we are capable of to meet the health care needs of Georgia’s citizens.

You will be receiving periodic communications as the election season unfolds with suggestions for action on your part.


TIPs for May and June

  1. Register to vote, if you are not already registered. If you do not know your voter registration status, go to the following link and you will see a link on the right where you can check your registration status: http://www.sos.ga.gov/elections/election_dates.htm 
  1. Identify candidates in your State House and State Senate districts, both incumbents and challengers All candidates must file and qualify to be candidates for election by May 25, 2012. Primary elections are July 31, 2012 and the General Election is November 6, 2012. A detailed elections and voter registration calendar is printed below.


Elections and Voter Registration Calendar

2012 Election Event Dates






Voter Registration Deadline

Election Date







General Primary/Non-Partisan/ Special Election (to fill vacancies and propose questions)

July 2, 2012

July 31, 2012

General Primary Runoff/Non-Partisan Runoff/Special Election Runoff

July 2, 2012

August 21, 2012

Special Election (to fill vacancies)

August 20, 2012

September 18, 2012

Special Election Runoff

August 20, 2012

October 16, 2012

General Election/Special Election (to fill vacancies and propose questions)

October 9, 2012*

November 6, 2012

General Election Runoff/Special Election Runoff

October 9, 2012*

December 4, 2012

Key Dates:

January 1, 2012

Earliest day to file and publish a notice of intention to be a write-in candidate in the General Election. O.C.G.A. §21-2-133 (a)

January 21, 2012

Deadline for a registrar to begin mailing absentee ballots for the March Presidential Preference Primary §21-2-384 (a)

February 1, 2012

Last day to fix and publish qualifying fees for offices to be filled during the 2012 Election Cycle. §21-2-131 (a)(1)(A)

February 6, 2012

Last day for a person to register and be eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary/March Special Election and March Special Election Runoff. O.C.G.A. §21-2-224 (a)

February 13, 2012

Advanced (Absentee In-Person) Voting begins for the Presidential Preference Primary/March Special Election. O.C.G.A. §21-2-385 (d)(1)

February 25, 2012

Mandatory Saturday Voting for the Presidential Preference Primary/March Special Election §21-2-385 (d)(1)

May 23, 2012

9:00 A.M.

Earliest day for a Political Party Candidate to file a Declaration of Candidacy to have his or her name placed on the General Primary/Non-Partisan Ballot. O.C.G.A. §21-2-153 (c)(1)

Earliest day for a Non-Partisan Candidate to file a Notice of Candidacy to have his or her name placed on the General Primary/Non-Partisan Ballot. O.C.G.A. §21-2-132, 21—2-172, 21-2-187

May 25, 2012

12:00 Noon

Last day for a Political Party Candidate to file a Declaration of Candidacy to have his/her name placed on the General Primary/Non-Partisan Ballot. O.C.G.A. §21-2-153 (c)(1)

Last day for a Non-Partisan Candidate to file a Notice of Candidacy to have his/her name placed on the General Primary/Non-Partisan Ballot. O.C.G.A. §21-2-132,


On May 10, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new rules which will benefit APRN’s in a number of ways, especially as they relate to credentialing and hospital staff privileges. See the press release below which contains links with greater detail.

News Release

May 10, 2012

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS finalizes new rules to cut regulations for hospitals and health care providers, saving more than $5 billion

Changes will reduce costs and allow more focus on medical care

Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced significant steps to reduce unnecessary, obsolete, or burdensome regulations on American hospitals and health care providers. These steps will help achieve the key goal of President Obama’s regulatory reform initiative to reduce unnecessary burdens on business and save nearly $1.1 billion across the health care system in the first year and more than $5 billion over five years.

“We are cutting red tape and improving health care for all Americans,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Now it will be easier for health care providers to do their jobs and deliver quality care.”

The new rules are being issued today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The first rule revises the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs). CMS estimates that annual savings to hospitals and CAHs will be approximately $940 million per year.

The second, the Medicare Regulatory Reform rule, will produce savings of $200 million in the first year by promoting efficiency. This rule eliminates duplicative, overlapping, and outdated regulatory requirements for health care providers.

“These changes cut burdensome red tape for hospitals and providers and give them the flexibility they need to improve patient care while lowering costs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  “These final rules incorporate input from hospitals, other health care providers, accreditation organizations, patient advocates, professional organizations, members of Congress, and a host of others who are working to improve patient care.”

Among other changes, the final rules will: 

  • Increase flexibility for hospitals by allowing one governing body to oversee multiple hospitals in a single health system; 
  • Let CAHs partner with other providers so they can be more efficient and ensure the safe and timely delivery of care to their patients; 
  • Require that all eligible candidates, including advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants, be reviewed by medical staff for potential appointment to the hospital medical staff and then be granted all of the privileges, rights, and responsibilities accorded to appointed medical staff members; and
  • Eliminate obsolete regulations, including outmoded infection control instructions for ambulatory surgical centers; outdated Medicaid qualification standards for physical and occupational therapists; and duplicative requirements for governing bodies of organ procurement organizations.

To view the final rules, please visit www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx.

For additional information on the Hospital and other CoPs, visit http://www.cms.gov/CFCsAndCoPs/01_Overview.asp.

3) Articles of interest

a) Physician written article by John Rowe is a physician and a professor in the department of health policy and management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health “Why Nurses Need More Authority    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/05/why-nurses-need-more-authority/256798/

b) Announcement of AANP public relations campaign