AMSN Legislative Brief June 2019

  • Posted on: 17 June 2019
  • By: AMSN

The House of Representatives was expected the week of Mon., June 10, to vote on legislation that includes strong funding for key AMSN workforce development and research priorities.

Along with the Nursing Community Coalition, AMSN and its members have been urging Congress to support these vital funding priorities. A key committee on May 8 cleared the FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (HR 2740, H Rept 116-62) providing increases in Title 8 nurse workforce development and the National Institutes of Nursing Research. It also provided level funding for the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research (AHRQ), though overall AHRQ funding was cut from expiration of a key funding source authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But the House bill’s funding increases are at risk: its overall $11 billion increase in funding depends on bipartisan congressional leaders and the Administration agreeing to increase overall domestic spending for 2020 which they have not yet done. See AMSN’s written testimony to Congress HERE.

New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that reauthorizes Title 8 nurse workforce development programs AMSN supports. AMSN is calling upon members to contact their members of the Senate to cosponsor the Title 8 Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (S 1399), introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC).

Support Your Workplace – Be Heard in Congress on Nurse Workforce Legislation here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1exr1Me48UjtfS0qF7u_IfqQZayJ2efXaJVkU...

More than a dozen major national nursing organizations joined AMSN in signing onto national-level regulatory comments May 31 in support of health information technology improvements. Led by AMSN, the letters supported making more patient health information available to health care professionals through trusted exchange networks. They also favored requiring hospitals to improve the effectiveness and reliability of electronic patient notifications. Read the letters to the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

State-based legislation opposed by AMSN has stopped progressing in the states of Illinois and Pennsylvania. A bill in Illinois inconsistent with AMSN policy on safe staffing for patient care, HB 2604, failed to be cleared by the Rules Committee before the legislature adjourned for the summer. AMSN advised the legislature that staffing should be based on “patient acuity, and the skill and capability of individual nurses in a unit… By contrast, HB 2604 sets fixed nurse-patient ratios in Illinois health care facilities; therefore, our organization is opposed to the legislation in its present form.” Likewise, a bill in Pennsylvania that risked complicating nurses’ CMSRN and CCCTM credentials, HB 811, has failed to progress in committee and is likely finished for the year. “We respect that the intent of HB 811 is to open employment and economic opportunity for persons who have criminal records and have paid their debts to society,” wrote AMSN President Hertel. “Our organizations are concerned that HB 811 as introduced includes several problematic and unclear provisions.