The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) intends to review the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” and examine its implications for future Medicare policies. Commission Chairman Glenn Hackbarth and Commissioner Mary Naylor suggested that the Commission review the IOM study. The report specifically recommends that Congress amend the Medicare program to authorize advanced practice nurses to certify patients for home health care services.
NAHC’s Vice President for Regulatory Affairs, Mary St. Pierre; Vice President for Law Bill Dombi; and Vice President for Government Affairs Jeff Kincheloe, along with representatives from the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, recently met with MedPAC staff about the upcoming review of the IOM report. During the meeting NAHC staff explained the provisions of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act that would permit nurse practitioners to sign home health plans of care and touted its potential benefits for home health patients and providers alike. Commission staff expressed interest in the legislation and asked that NAHC continue to dialogue with them about it. MedPAC staff suggested further discussions with NAHC about what controls might be used to ensure that program integrity is maintained with the addition of nurse practitioners as health professionals allowed to certify Medicare home health care.