On Thursday, February 26, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S. 578, the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act of 2015. This legislation, once enacted, will have an immediate impact on the quality of life and timeliness of care for Medicare patients by allowing NPs to certify home health care orders.
Currently, NPs are recognized under state laws and regulations that allow them to complete and sign physical examination forms and other medical certification documents. However, under current Medicare law, NPs with patients who need home health care services must locate a physician who will document the NP's assessment for this care. Enactment of the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act of 2015 will make it possible for NPs to provide the required certification for Medicare patients under their care. Passage of this legislation will reduce Medicare spending by eliminating duplicative services while also improving the quality and timeliness of care for beneficiaries who need home health care services.
AANP thanks Senators Collins and Schumer for taking this important first legislative step toward improving patients' lives, and the organization pledges its continued support for swift action this year. We ask that you contact your Senators and ask them to support this important legislation.
Sherry, INPS President