House Committee Considers Legislation to Expand Role of NPs in Medical Homes
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy




The House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 31, unanimously approved legislation to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR or Doc Fix) after accepting an amendment that would create potential opportunities for nurse practitioners and physician assistants run medical homes.
 
The amendment is meant to follow guidelines from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) that encourage Medicare to pay nurse practitioners and physician assistants for services they provide in medical homes.The change was a surprise to some physicians who typically oppose letting nurse practitioners and physician assistants operate without physician oversight. 

The amendment does not specifically state that nurse practitioners and physician assistants can operate medical homes on their own. Instead leaves the definition of the type of provider that can run a medial home up to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Currently, medical homes must be physician-led, although physicians often lead teams of nurse practitioners and physician assistants that do the brunt of the work for which medical homes charge Medicare.
To review the legislation, please click here.
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