The executive board of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners has approved a revised position statement on “Access to Care.” The Institute of Medicine defines access to care as having a usual source of care without barriers to services from financial or insurance restrictions, lack of available providers or the inability of health information to be shared seamlessly among hospitals and providers across the continuum of care.
According to NAPNAP, federal and state governments should update and standardize their regulations to ensure all children have access to comprehensive healthcare services through the provision of insurance and choice in the selection of healthcare providers to provide quality care. The group also calls for the updated regulations to recognize the expanding roles of pediatric nurse practitioners and the increasing demand for healthcare services.
“NAPNAP is in full support of the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine that prevent all barriers to primary healthcare for children,” Cheri Barber, RN, DNP, CRNP, president of NAPNAP, said in a news release. “We hope to see an expansion of healthcare coverage for all children as well as a collaborative, collegial environment that supports nurse practitioners in practices across the country.”
In the revised position statement, NAPNAP asserts that “universal healthcare insurance is a critical factor for improving the health of children. Access to healthcare will be out of reach for many Americans due to a shortfall that is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of physicians. Nurse practitioners can assist in geographic areas with a shortage of providers. The current model of healthcare discourages interdisciplinary, team and care coordination models as a result of restrictive regulations.”
The position statement also touts the expanding services provided by pediatric NPs in primary care, ambulatory care, acute care, specialty care and long-term care in urban and rural areas: “NPs provide cost-effective healthcare including health education, health promotion, disease prevention, access to community resources and management during acute and critical illness.” The statement cites studies that “have demonstrated that NPs provide equivalent or superior care compared to physicians in areas of patient satisfaction, rates of hospitalization/rehospitalization, hospital length of stay, ventilator days and mortality.”
The full position statement is available at www.napnap.org/PNPResources/Practice/PositionStatements.aspx.