AANP Members Advocate for Legislative Changes to Improve Health Care Access
Nurse Practitioners to Lobby Federal Lawmakers in Record Numbers
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners in the country, is poised for a record day on Capitol Hill.
On Tuesday, March 31, AANP will lead its members to the offices of federal lawmakers for a total of more than 250 lobbying visits. The participating nurse practitioners, hailing from all corners of the United States, will urge their Congressional representatives to advance key legislation that improves patient access to needed health services. Priorities include:
Passing the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2015
Supporting the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate
Increasing the role of nurse practitioners in VA facilities
Authorizing nurse practitioners to document evaluations for durable medical equipment
According to AANP, the number of visits the group has arranged with U.S. Senators and House of Representatives offices has increased 41 percent since last year, marking nurse practitioners' growing interest in making their voices heard on critical issues that concern their patient populations.
"Every day, nurse practitioners experience firsthand needless regulatory roadblocks that deny their patients the very best care that they're expertly educated and clinically trained to deliver," said David Hebert, Chief Executive Officer of AANP. "As a result, they're mobilizing in greater numbers. We expect this trend will continue with the nurse practitioner profession growing at a rapid pace."
Early this year, AANP released data showing that the number of nurse practitioners licensed in the United States has nearly doubled over the past decade, rising from approximately 106,000 in 2004 to 205,000 as of December 31, 2014.
AANP members are coming together in Washington, D.C. for the organization's annual Health Policy Conference, taking place at the Hyatt Regency on March 29-31. The conference is an invitation only.
Nurse practitioners serve as primary, acute and specialty care providers across the country. They assess, order, perform and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests; make diagnoses; initiate and manage treatment; prescribe medications and non-pharmacologic treatments; and counsel patients, their families, and communities. More than 50 years of peer-reviewed, independent research has shown nurse practitioners to be safe and cost-effective clinicians, with patient outcomes that are similar and sometimes better than those of physicians.