Big news out of Washington D.C. today
Legislation reforming Medicare's fee-for-service payment system won the unanimous support of a key House committee today (July 31) after AANP secured changes to enable nurse practitioner medical homes to receive a new care coordination payment for managing patients with complex chronic conditions. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 51 to 0 to approve the "Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act" (H.R. 2810), clearing the way for the House Ways and Means Committee to debate how to pay the $139 billion ten-year cost of repealing the "sustainable growth rate" and replacing it with half-percent increases in payments for five years.
The original draft legislation limited new care management payments to only doctors of medicine or osteopathy but AANP expressed great concern and pressed committee members and staffs to amend the language to recognize that nurse practitioners' practices are already certified as medical homes and routinely manage and coordinate the care of patients with multiple chronic conditions. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) worked with her colleagues to extend the care coordination payment to NPs and physician assistants that meet the bill's medical home certification requirements. It is important to note that in addition to Rep. Capps, Reps. McKinley (D-WV), Ellmers (R-NC), Waxman (D-CA) and Pallone (D-NJ) spoke in favor of the NP provision.
The Ways and Means Committee will take up the bill after the August recess, once that has occurred it will move to the House floor for a vote. As always we will keep you posted as the legislation moves forward.