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Physician-Led Health Care Teams Must Be Maintained in VHA System
Posted on: 11/8/2013

ISMS joined 65 other organizations representing the majority of the nation's physicians to express strong concerns about the proposed draft of the Veterans Health Affairs (VHA) Nursing Handbook.

The language in the draft would direct that all advanced practice nurses (APNs) within the VHA be designated as independent  health care professionals. We strongly oppose this direction because it would shift health care delivery away from a patient-centered team approach led by physicians.

New models of care, including Accountable Care Organizations and Patient-Centered Medical Homes, need integration and teamwork among health care professionals to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Physicians have the highest level of training and preparation and, therefore, are best suited to guide the team.

We urge revisions to the draft that would support physician-led health care teams and keep state practice acts unchanged.

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