Healthcare Business News

Nurses group: AAFP 'out of step' on medical-home leadership

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: September 19, 2012 - 5:15 pm ET

While voicing its strong support for team-based care models, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners called the American Academy of Family Physicians "misdirected and out of step" because of the organization's call to have care teams led by physicians.

On Tuesday, the AAFP issued Primary Care for the 21st Century, a report stating that nurses and other healthcare professionals have a role in easing healthcare delivery shortages created by a lack of primary-care physicians, but that allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently would create two classes of care: one led by physicians and one led by "less-qualified" individuals.

The nurse practitioners group in a news release on Wednesday noted that the National Committee for Quality Assurance, URAC and the Joint Commission do not require physician leadership for the medical-home recognition programs they accredit.

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"Making full use of the NP workforce is a critical piece of a multi-pronged solution to address the urgent need for healthcare access in our nation," Angela Golden, AANP president, said in the release. "The ongoing attempt by the AAFP to limit the ability of NPs to practice to the full extent of their education and training only serves to increase the already overwhelming hardships placed on millions of Americans who are struggling to gain access to high-quality healthcare."

The release also noted the role of NPs in providing care to the elderly, medically underserved and those who live in rural areas.

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