AMSN Legislative Brief January 2019
Your voice matters – watch your email for the AMSN 2020 Legislative Survey! So that AMSN’s agenda and advocacy may align with the issues and actions members find most important, watch your email inbox and click to answer. Your voice will help ensure that AMSN’s voice is strong and consistent with the values and priorities of med-surg nursing!
What Medicare policy barriers exist between patients and their health care professionals? The Medicare agency posted a notice Dec. 26 asking the public’s insights into eliminating or changing policy that keeps Medicare patients from access to the care they need, or having to pay higher prices for care. AMSN is reviewing the notice, which is available here. The notice is consistent with a June 24 presidential “Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First.” Public comments are due to Medicare by Jan. 17, 2020.
In the New Year, many states are beginning their legislative sessions this month. AMSN is monitoring key issues for med-surg nurses and their patients. For example:
• In Pennsylvania, the state House is set to take up SB 637, promoting expanded licensure opportunities for ex-offenders without affecting voluntary certification programs like MSNCB. This important bill passed the Senate last fall. AMSN worked through the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) to help block an earlier bill (HB 811) that would have interfered with important voluntary licensing programs for med-surg nurses and other health care professionals.
• In Illinois labor groups are organizing to move legislation in 2020 establishing mandatory nurse-patient staffing ratios. AMSN policy supports med-surg nurses making staffing decisions at the local level, not one-size-fits-all government staffing plans. In 2019, AMSN sent a letter of opposition to Springfield about a previous staffing ratio mandate bill that died in the legislature and was not enacted into law.
• In New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation eliminating prior authorizations for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in commercial health plans, but vetoed similar legislation expanding access to care for persons with opioid use disorder with Medicaid health plans. Because the opioid crisis affects so many people including med-surg nurses, AMSN monitors opioid crisis legislation as part of its legislative agenda.