TNP GAC Chair Holly Jeffreys Speaks at TCCRI Health Policy Summit
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Posted by: Erin Cusack
On December 7, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute held a health care policy summit in Austin to address hot topics in healthcare going into the New Year and the 2019 Legislative Session. Addressing everything from the new dawn of telemedicine in Texas to retail clinics and innovations in Medicaid managed care, panelists from Teledoc, Unitedhealthcare, the Texas legislature, and other industry experts weighed in on the policy solutions they felt would best position Texas to expand access to quality healthcare, while also reducing costs.
When asked what the biggest barrier to expanding access to care was, NP Panelist and TNP Government Affairs Committee Chair Holly Jeffreys answered simply: the lack of full practice authority.
“If I didn’t have to pay for a delegation agreement, a piece of paper that does nothing to improve the quality of patient care, I could hire additional resources for my clinic and better serve my Panhandle community,” Jeffreys said. She also cited insurance credentialing/ reimbursement issues and regulatory artifacts that prevent APRNs from signing certain medical forms as other barriers getting in the way of her practice.
“The NP role came into existence in 1965 because of two forces,” Jeffreys added. “The introduction of Medicaid and Medicare meant that millions of individuals -- women, children, and the elderly -- had health coverage for the first time, but there weren’t enough primary care providers to see them. At the same time, physicians started to specialize, leaving a growing void in primary care. Over 50 years later, we’re in the same exact position, but state laws just haven’t caught up.”
We want to thank Holly Jeffreys for being the NP voice at the TCCRI Summit, and look forward to future conversations on health care to come.