WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and AFT Nurses and Health Professionals, on legislation to allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants to certify patient eligibility for home healthcare services under Medicare:
“This bipartisan legislation puts the needs of Medicare patients first by removing an unnecessary barrier for those who receive their healthcare at home. By allowing nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants to use the full scope of their training to certify patient eligibility for home healthcare services, time will be saved, access to healthcare will be quicker and Medicare costs will be reduced. It makes sense to allow the highly qualified healthcare professionals who actually provide the care to make the initial certification. Currently, only physicians are permitted to handle the certification, often done remotely and not immediately.
“We commend Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for sponsoring the legislation and urge the full Congress to pass it.”