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Act would expand nurse role in home health

March 18, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants would be allowed to order home health services under Medicare in accordance with state law under legislation being considered by Congress.

LeadingAge and the American Nurses Association are just two of the organizations that have expressed support that APRNs could sign home health care plans and certify Medicare patients for the home health care benefit. LeadingAge notes that the act, if passed, could prove especially helpful in underserved urban and rural areas, where access to physicians is limited.

The Senate is considering S. 578, introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). The House of Representatives is considering H.R. 1342, introduced by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL). The companion bills are known as the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act.

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