APRN Legislation Could Help Fill Mental Health Access Gaps

84% of survey respondents (primarily from hospitals, health plans and physician offices) believe their states will “propose” legislation like Connecticut has allowing advanced practice nurses to treat and prescribe medications independent of physicians, but just 39% of them believe such legislation will be enacted, mainly because just 12% of physicians like the idea, some  commenting that they “need to lobby against such measures” to ensure complex cases “aren’t being treated by unqualified practitioners” or that “patients aren’t improperly diagnosed.”  Much of the interest in using APRNs is to assist in filling gaps in access for patients need behavioral health support, several clinical leaders said. Those from facilities, like ASCs and hospitals, are more open to change predicting legislation in some form is necessary to expand access and alleviate overcrowding in ERs for “primary care.”  Said one ASC director: “It is the prudent, cost effective way health care will be made available to the population.  Even if it fails this round of legislation, it will pass in the future.” Health plans are split – 51% said if legislation passes in a state they would likely “look to expand their network to include APRNs and allow this practice given mandates like mental health parity and the ACA, while 49% said they are unsure or won’t allow it as of now. Share your views here:  http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?84A0CCD582C0D1DF8F

 

 

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