HLM: Did anyone testify against the legislation, and if so, what did they say?
Joanne Pohl: Interestingly, no one testified against the bill and there were no questions from the Health Policy Committee.
HLM: What's the next step for this legislation? Is there support for it in the senate?
MaryLee Pakieser: There is growing support as our bill in alignment with Gov. Snyder's 2011 Health and Wellness message. This bill would improve patient's choice and access to high quality and cost effective health care providers. Removing unnecessary barriers and regulation in health care was part of Governors Snyder's health care agenda for Michigan. It is recognized that in Michigan we are facing a severe shortage of primary care physicians, APRNs are already in place to help mitigate this shortage .
HLM: Can you talk more about what "title protection" is and why it's important?
MaryLee Pakieser: The bill clearly defines NP, CNS, and CNM roles. This defining process will help with reimbursement issues… As we are not clearly identified it has made it difficult for APRNs to be reimbursed for care we deliver because insurance companies indicate we are not defined as independent health care professionals
Also, without title protection there is very limited data available on CNSs e.g. as they are not represented in any specific category, or they may be merged with other APRNs such as NPs giving inaccurate data on each provider. This change would also remove the invisibility of all four APRN roles and decrease confusion to the public.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.