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Opinion: Easing restrictions on nurse practitioners will improve access to care

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid, more Connecticut residents than ever before have access to some form of health insurance. But insurance coverage doesn’t always guarantee access to care. By passing Senate Bill 36, Connecticut lawmakers can ensure that more Connecticut residents have access to the care they need.

Senate Bill 36 will allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training after three years of working in collaboration with a physician.

The legislation will improve access to care and help hold down rising health care costs by removing outdated barriers, such as burdensome contractual agreements with physicians, that prevent nurse practitioners from providing care to consumers.These barriers often delay care to consumers, especially in rural and urban underserved areas where few physicians are available to enter into these agreements with APRNs. And when care is delayed it not only hurts consumers, it also places added stress on family caregivers, who all too often are overwhelmed with bearing the brunt of providing and overseeing the care of a loved one. It can also add unnecessary costs by requiring payments to doctors for collaboration and take precious time away from patient care.

Nora Duncan is the state director of AARP CT

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

 

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