Senators Collins and Schumer Introduce Bill to Allow More Health Care Professionals to Certify Home Health Plans of Care
Legislation Would Affect Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Midwives, and Physicians' Assistants
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Charles Schumer (D-NY), who serves on the Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over Medicare, have introduced S.1332, the "Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act," which would allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and physicians' assistants to certify Medicare home health plans of care.
Senator Collins has introduced the same legislation in past Congresses, and committed to NAHC members during the March on Washington earlier this year that she would reintroduce the bill during the 113th Congress. Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR) and Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) have introduced a companion bill in the House, which currently has 28 cosponsors.
Senator Collins has frequently lauded the important role these health care professionals have in health care delivery and said the legislation would help "ensure that our seniors and disabled citizens have timely access to home health services under the Medicare program." The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) assisted with the preparation and drafting of this legislation and is helping gather support for its passage.