The WOCN®Society In Action is a members-only public policy and advocacy newsletter that highlights the most pressing issues related to the WOC practice and the Society's advocacy efforts.
The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act
The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019 (S. 296), was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) in the Senate. In the House a companion bill (H.R. 2150) was introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Mike Kelly (R-PA). The legislation would authorize nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, and physician assistants to certify home healthcare services for their Medicare patients. Take action now! Click here to learn more.
Lymphedema Treatment Act
Unfortunately, the 115th Session of Congress ended without passage of The Lymphedema Treatment Act. The bill received 366 co-sponsors in the House and 66 co-sponsors in the Senate. On February 14, 2019, The Lymphedema Treatment Act (S.518) was reintroduced in the Senate by Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Todd Young (R-IN). They were joined by 31 original co-sponsors. The House bill (H.R. 1948) has also been reintroduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). The former House champion, Rep. Dave Reichert, retired last year, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky has been one of the co-leads for the past four years. The House and Senate Bill have been reintroduced. Take action now!Click here to learn more.
Regional and Affiliates Grassroots Taskforce
In response to membership requests, the advocacy team has begun work on revamping our advocacy outreach to WOCN region and affiliates. In order to accomplish this goal, we have created three regional and affiliate taskforce groups to complete various objectives. Click here to learn more.
Medicare Competitive Bidding
To date, the Trump Administration has not continued to pursue the expansion of the CB program. It would take new legislation from Congress in order to include urologic and ostomy in the CB program. The WOCN Society has created an evidence based policy paper which focuses on the impact of competitive bidding and access to care and supplies that will be ready for use if the program does move forward. WOCN staff met with CMS Principal Deputy Administrator, Demetrios Kouzoukas, late last year to express our concerns with including ostomy products in the CB program. The meeting was organized by the Access & Care Coalition (ACC), of which WOCN is a member. Click here to learn more.
The Nursing Community Coalition
WOCN is a member of the Nursing Community Coalition which consists of 58 national nursing organizations committed to improving the health and health care of our nation by collaborating to support Registered Nurses (RNs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Collectively, the NC represents over one million RNs, APRNs, nurse researchers, nurse faculty, and nursing students. In the past quarter, the Nursing Community has provided comments and updates on several issues. Click here to learn more.
Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders
In addition to the efforts taken on by the Society, we have also enjoyed success through our membership in the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders (The Alliance). The Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders is a nonprofit multidisciplinary trade association of physician medical specialty societies and clinical associations whose mission is to promote quality care and access to products and services for people with wounds through effective advocacy and educational outreach in the regulatory, legislative and public arenas. Through the Alliance, WOCN is able to comment and follow government regulations on multiple fronts and directly impact policy decisions. Click here to learn more.
WOCN continues to expand our partnerships with patient groups on areas of interest with regard to public policy and outreach. Kate Lawrence and Chris Rorickheld a call with Phil Botham, who is the WOCNCB Advocacy Coordinator, to discuss advocacy collaboration for 2019. The two organizations shared their advocacy priorities for the upcoming year and explored ways to facilitate cooperation in those efforts. The WOCN advocacy team also held a call with leadership and public policy and advocacy representatives of the United Ostomy Association identifying common areas of interest and potential collaboration.
CMMI and Long-Term Care
The Society continues to explore avenues of opportunity to expand WOC nursing services in long-term care through the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) program. The Society has created a task force to help complete this project and the team is currently reviewing the first draft proposal to be sent to CMMI. Click here to learn more.
If you have questions regarding any of these issues, please contact:
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