AMA issues statement on VA rule on APRNs

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The American Medical Association (AMA) distributed the following statement – which can be attributed to AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. – on December 13…

“[AMA] is pleased that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) final rule continues to recognize the critical need for collaboration among physicians and nurse anesthetists to ensure patient safety when delivering anesthesia care.

"At the same time, we are disappointed by the VA’s decision today to allow most advanced practice nurses within the VA to practice independently of a physician’s clinical oversight, regardless of individual state law. This part of the VA’s final rule will rewind the clock to an outdated model of care delivery that is not consistent with the current direction of the health care system.

"Providing coordinated, physician-led, patient-centered, team-based patient care is the best approach to improving quality care for our country’s veterans, especially given the highly-complex medical care that veterans often require. The nation’s top health care systems rely on these physician-led teams to achieve improved care and patient health, while reducing costs. We expect the same for our country’s veterans, and look to these systems as evidence that physician-led, team-based models of care are the future of American health care.

"We would also like to acknowledge the VA for clarifying that radiology studies should not be performed and read by APRNs who are not credentialed in radiology. With over 10,000 hours of education and training, physicians bring tremendous value to the health care team. All patients deserve access to physician expertise, whether for primary care, chronic health management, anesthesia, or pain medicine, in addition to the valuable care provided by advanced practice nurses and other primary care clinicians that are part of the care team.”