NNCC pursues policy education and reform efforts in three areas to increase the capacity of nurse-managed health clinics to provide efficient, high-quality care.
Nurse-managed health clinics provide a full range of health care services, including primary care, health promotion, disease prevention, and behavioral health care to residents of underserved communities throughout the United States. However, because many nurse-managed health clinics are owned by academic schools of nursing and controlled by the Board of Trustees of their college or university, they cannot qualify for the enhanced reimbursement made available to community health centers through the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) program.
This lack of steady funding makes nurse-managed health clinics financially unstable and threatens access to care for patients across the country. NNCC advocates for stable funding sources for nurse-managed health centers so that these clinics can continue meeting the needs of their communities.
Nurse-managed health clinics face barriers to sustainability that physician-led practices do not. One major barrier is the fact that many insurers do not credential or reimburse nurse practitioners as primary care providers. Because nurse-managed health clinics provide so much uncompensated care to the uninsured, it is crucial that they are reimbursed fairly for the primary care that they provide to managed-care enrollees.
NNCC helps its health clinic members work with insurers to improve credentialing and contracting policies, conducts original research on insurer policies to show the impact that they have on safety net providers, and supports legislative and regulatory efforts to make insurer credentialing policies more inclusive.
Nurse practitioners and nurse-managed health clinics are positioned to dramatically expand access to primary and preventive health care throughout the United States. However, regulatory barriers often stand in the way of efficient practice. In addition to making the case for more streamlined nurse practitioner practice regulations at the state level, NNCC advocates for nurse practitioners to have the same opportunities as physicians to take part in special programs and demonstrations designed to improve patient care.
06/27/16: Comments on proposed rule to implement the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)