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Public Policy and Advocacy Update for WOCN Society Membership - July 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Becky Dryden
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July 2014

Public Policy and Advocacy Update For WOCN Society Membership


The WOCN Society continues to be very active in Public Policy and Advocacy efforts with leadership and members engaged in National, Regional, and State initiatives. The following is a brief update of activity, the highlights were presented at the National meeting in Nashville by President Phyllis Kupsick, and at the Regional and Affiliate Leadership meeting prior to conference.

The WOCN Health Care Agenda and its four principles of action guide the focus of the Society Public Policy and Advocacy efforts. Further details can be seen here:

The four principles are:

  1. Access to Wound, Ostomy and Continence Supplies: Protect and enhances patients access to supplies.
  2. Payment Reform: Ensure that patients have access to WOC specialty nurses.
  3. Nursing Workforce and Education: Advocating for adequate funding for development and education of the nursing workforce.
  4. Quality of Care Initiatives: Active participation in policy and regulatory development.

Access to Wound, Ostomy and Continence Supplies:

  • Efforts at the State level in New York by WOC nurses, consumers and the UOAA have born the passage of legislation that requires coverage of ostomy supplies. Although this legislation as written continues to include deductibles and some coverage limitations, it does allow for ostomy supply coverage for vulnerable populations that previously had no coverage at all.
  • Maryland has similar proposal in discussion, and again the involvement of the WOC nurses and UOAA are moving this discussion forward.
  • The WOCN Society has made comment and support to the efforts of recognition of APRN's as providers to be included in documentation of Face to Face visits for coverage of DME. The Society is also monitoring the possible hardship encountered by patients attempting to get DME, especially for preventative care with Face to Face and prerequisite requirements.
    • The Society is seeking any comments by membership regarding experiences that have limited patients access to care due to these restrictions. Please send to
  • The Society has made comment to CMS about the various skin substitutes and biologics and the inequity of limiting coverage due to new changes in coding.
  • Competitive Bidding has entered into Round 2 with expansion of the areas of the country that are being included in competitive bidding and by the inclusion of more products such as bed support surfaces, enteral feeding and negative pressure wound therapy. The Society is monitoring the activities and dialogue about competitive bidding and is requesting feedback from membership if problematic care issues are occurring due to limitations in access of supplies.
  • HR 3877 is legislation regarding coverage of Lymphedema compression supplies beyond the acute episode, The Society has endorsed the legislation and has developed a policy paper that links the coverage of compression garments and stockings with both lymphedema and venous stasis.

Access to WOC nurses

  • An update on the Joint Position Statement on the value of preoperative stoma site marking for patients for both urinary and fecal diversions is underway with American Urological Association and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons respectively.
  • The Society is actively monitoring any legislative changes at the National and State level that may influence or change the scope of practice of the WOC nurse including APRN issues. Any concerns identified by membership should be directed to
  • In collaboration with UOAA and ConvaTec, a policy paper was written called the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Access to Ostomy Services, Technologies and Innovation. As a team other organizations, consumer groups and industry partners have been approached to endorse these principles. As of July 2014, fourteen endorsements have occurred with more pending. The document is to be used in the future to provide background and design content for discussions around access to care.

Nursing Workforce and Education

The Society continues to work with the Nursing Caucus and other like minded groups in support of the continuation of Title VII grants and allocations which support Nursing Education and Work force issues.

Quality of Care

  • The Society continues to be represented in the Nursing Community and the in ANA as an organizational affiliate.
  • Representatives have been nominated for several panels formulated by the National Quality Foundation.
  • The WOCN Society has continued its work with our OASIS Task Force providing comment on the OASIS C1 and other appropriate OASIS guidance as requested by CMS.
  • Activity has continued with the Partnership for Patients through identification of Best Practice around Pressure Ulcer Prevention by members of the Society and by the renderings of documents and evidence published in our journal. The WOCN Society was included in a panel of experts in the development of Guidelines for Foley Catheter use, management, and removal with a focus on decreasing CAUTI with the final product still under production.

National Public Policy/Advocacy Committee (NPPAC)

The NPPAC have been working hard on numerous activities.

  • The ongoing development of a grass roots communication network with region and affiliate leaders and past NIWI and WOC in Washington participants, The efforts are focused on identifying individuals in each area and hopefully each state who can actively be involved in receiving and delivering Public Policy and Advocacy information on hot button items that occur.
    • Derek Alexander is currently the lead on developing this strategy. For more information please contact Derik at
  • Policy papers
    • Gaps in coverage that occur with problem ostomy and fistula under the current system
    • Outcomes Research the WOC nurse in Home Care, taking the results and applying it to Public Policy and Advocacy.
    • Coverage of Compression with Lymphedema and Venous Stasis.
  • WOCN Society Public Policy and Advocacy Web Page.
    • Keeping it current and accessible for members.

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