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NCSBN Announces Support for H.R. 5380

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 09/02/14 -- The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®), www.ncsbn.org, announces its endorsement of H.R. 5380, the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act, introduced July 31, 2014, by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). This bill amends title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for a phased-in expansion of telehealth coverage under the Medicare program.

Acknowledging the increasing need for providers to have the ability to practice across state lines, NCSBN believes in the importance of telehealth, supports efforts to expand telehealth as a model of care delivery and strongly encourages Medicare payment parity for providers. The organization offered comments on this bill to Rep. Thompson's office addressing interstate licensure provisions.

NCSBN recognized the importance of facilitating interstate practice by endorsing the mutual recognition model of nurse licensure in 1997. In 2000, the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) for registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVNs) was implemented. Leaders from boards of nursing along with the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA) representing the 24 states in the NLC, are currently working on potential revisions to the compact that will allow for increased state participation in the NLC.

Amendments to an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Compact that would facilitate interstate practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) or certified nurse practitioners (CNPs) are also being prepared.

NCSBN understands concerns that licensure currently is a challenge for nurses seeking greater mobility for interstate practice, whether through telehealth or in person, and looks forward to continuing to work with members of Congress and telehealth advocates to resolve concerns that licensure is a barrier to the continued growth and wider use of telehealth.

Founded March 15, 1978, as an independent not-for-profit organization, NCSBN was created to lessen the burdens of state governments and bring together boards of nursing (BONs) to act and counsel together on matters of common interest. NCSBN's membership is comprised of the BONs in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories -- American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also 21 associate members that are either nursing regulatory bodies or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories.

NCSBN Member Boards protect the public by ensuring that safe and competent nursing care is provided by licensed nurses. These BONs regulate more than 3 million licensed nurses, the second largest group of licensed professionals in the U.S.

Mission: NCSBN provides education, service and research through collaborative leadership to promote evidence-based regulatory excellence for patient safety and public protection.

The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not the individual member state or territorial boards of nursing.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60601-4277

Contact:
Dawn M. Kappel
Director, Marketing and Communications
312.525.3667 direct
312.279.1034 fax
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