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ACNM Policy Update - 3/11/2016

Federal Issues

1. Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act Reintroduced in the House
2. KFF Releases Issue Brief on ACA Marketplace Enrollment
3. NQF Provides Introduction to Quality and Federal Policy
4. HHS Announces Tying 30 Percent of Medicare Payments to Quality
5. Don’t Forget to Register for ACNM’s 61st Annual Meeting and Exhibition


State Issues

1. A Note on State Policy Tracking
2. New Laws: NM, VA, WV, WY



Federal Issues

1. Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act Reintroduced in the House

The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act (H.R. 4695/S. 466) has been reintroduced in the House by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) along with Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH). This legislation would require HHS to identify existing quality measures related to maternity care, fund the development of measures needed to fill gaps in the measure set thus identified, and also fund the operation of maternity care quality collaboratives using these measures to improve care. ACNM is a strong supporter of this legislation and has provided information on our website as well as an Action Alert, through which members can educate themselves and encourage their legislators to support this bill.

A key Senate committee has passed the bill in that chamber and we have been told that its prospects are good in the full Senate.

2. KFF Releases Issue Brief on ACA Marketplace Enrollment

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has released an issue brief looking at enrollment through the health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), examining why enrollment may be lower than projected by Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and discussing the potential for future enrollment growth. They conclude that there is considerable room for enrollment growth over the next several years. However, even if all states signed people up at the rate of the top 10 states, enrollment would still fall well short of projections by CBO, suggesting that those forecasts may have been unrealistic.

On the same day that KFF released their brief, the Administration released a report arguing that some 20 million people have gained coverage as a result of changes made under the ACA, significantly reducing the uninsured rate among the population.

3. NQF Provides Introduction to Quality and Federal Policy

The National Quality Forum (NQF), of which ACNM is a member, has created an excellent and concise resource to help the public understand the basics of quality measure development and use, as well as how these measures are used in various health care systems. Their website includes eleven very brief video segments outlining issues related to quality and policy.

The NQF has also announced that it will host a web conference, entitled “Talking about Quality and Federal Policy,” on March 22, from 3:00-3:30pm ET. Meg McGinty, Senior Manager of Public Affairs at NQF, and an experienced lobbyist and government affairs expert, will lead this conversation about the basics of quality and federal policy. You can register here.

4. HHS Announces Tying 30 Percent of Medicare Payments to Quality

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the Department has successfully reached a goal of tying 30 percent of Medicare’s payments to methodologies that incorporate and reward quality. The Department had originally intended to meet this goal at the end of 2016 and was able to do so quite early due to aggressive regulatory changes and cooperation with the private sector to promote value-based approaches to reimbursement.

Because quality-based reimbursement is becoming ever more common, efforts to gather data, such as ACNM’s benchmarking work, will become more important as time goes by. If you are not currently reporting data through that mechanism, you and your practice should give serious consideration to doing so.

5. Don’t Forget to Register for ACNM’s 61st Annual Meeting and Exhibition

ACNM’s 61st Annual Meeting and Exhibition will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico from May 21-26. Advance registration pricing runs through May 16, so to secure the best deal, make sure you register today!


State Issues

1. A Note on State Policy Tracking
Due to the volume of bills ACNM tracks at the state-level, our reporting in these policy updates will be limited to enacted legislation. For a complete list of all the measures that ACNM is following, visit our State Legislative Tracking Tool.

2. New Laws: NM, VA, WV, WY

· New Mexico S.105 provides for expedited professional and occupational licensing if the applicant is a licensee in good standing in another jurisdiction. The bill was signed into law on March 1.

· Virginia H.580 adds definitions of "advanced practice registered nurse," "certified nurse midwife," and "certified registered nurse anesthetist" as they apply to the licensing chapters of the Code of Virginia for the Boards of Medicine and Nursing. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 1.

· Virginia S.212 alters the composition of numerous health regulatory boards, including the Board of Nursing. The law increases the membership of the Board of Nursing from 13 to 14 members by increasing the required number of registered nurse members from seven to eight and also increasing the number of such registered nurses who must be licensed nurse practitioners from one to two. The bill was signed into law on March 1.

· West Virginia S.123 allows CNMs to provide expedited partner therapy if, in the judgment of the CNM, the sexual partner is unlikely or unable to present for comprehensive health care, including evaluation, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Expedited partner therapy is limited to a sexual partner who may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease within the previous sixty days and who is able to be contacted by the patient. The bill was signed into law on February 25.

· Wyoming H.56 adopts the Advanced Practice Nurse Licensure Compact. Entering into the Compact allows advanced practice nurses licensed in one Compact state, including Wyoming, to exercise a multi-state licensure privilege in other states that are a party to the Compact. The bill was signed by the Governor on March 2.


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