HHS Supports the Next Generation of Nursing

Providing a cutting-edge education for the next generation of nurses is vitally important to the future of health care. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that its Health Resources and Service Administration awarded more than $94 million in new grants in 2015. The grants were aimed at training the next generation of healthcare professionals. According to its website, HHS expects to provide even more grants in 2016.

Moreover, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will be investing $200 million during the next few years to support advanced practice RNs. The money will be allocated to graduate nurse education that focuses on the clinical skills needed for primary, preventive, and transitional care. As current health trends change, the increased funding to educate APRNs will be crucial to managing patient outcomes. 

ONS Encourages Nurse Inclusion in PFPM

On May 13, 2016, ONS provided feedback to the Physician Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) on its review process for the physician focused payment model (PFPM). ONS highlighted the roles of nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and other nursing professionals in assisting eligible clinicians in meeting the clinical practice improvement criteria as specified by the Merit-Based Incentive Program System (MIPS). With the new Medicare Assessment and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the focus of reimbursement has changed to focus on the quality of care provided to patients. 

ONS knows that nurses will play an integral role in helping their institutions meet the MIPS requirements. ONS’s comments to PTAC encourage the inclusion of nurses in the development of standards for the PFPM. Although PTAC doesn’t set the standards, it is in the advantageous position of offering recommendations for PFPMs in the future. 

National Nursing Week Recognized in Congress

National Nursing Week was in full swing from May 6–12, 2016. From infusion rooms to bedsides across the country and all the way up to Capitol Hill, people were taking time to celebrate the great work of nurses. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Frank Guinta (R) from New Hampshire, took a moment to recognize National Nursing Week.

“They are our friends and neighbors who care for our loved ones and treat us when we’re sick,” Guinta said. “The nurse is usually the first person we talk to at the doctor’s office even in the morning, the nurse may be the first person we meet in life.” Guinta discussed the role of nurses in home healthcare initiatives as well as being on the front lines of the burgeoning opioid epidemic.