Priorities for Upcoming Legislative Session

As the upcoming legislative session approaches, beginning on February 6, it is essential to understand and support the legislative priorities that will ensure the welfare of our members, and our patients. Our priorities are in no particular order and are of significant and equal importance.

Scope Creep, NP’s and PA’s
The phenomenon of ‘scope creep,’ whereby the roles and duties of healthcare professionals gradually expand beyond their traditional boundaries, has significant implications for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Our stance seeks to address this issue, balancing the need for service expansion against the maintenance of quality care.

Streamlining the Prior Authorization Process
The Prior Authorization Process is a critical but often daunting aspect of healthcare. AAFP proposes strategies to simplify it, enhancing efficiency while maintaining a high standard of care. Streamlined procedures would create clear benefits, such as decreased wait times and increased satisfaction for our patients and the entire healthcare system.

Expanding Medicaid
In its present state, Medicaid offers vital support to many of our patients. Nevertheless, we believe that expanding Medicaid coverage is essential for a more inclusive healthcare system. Through expansion, we aim to secure better healthcare access for our patients, reducing disparities resulting from socioeconomic constraints.

Increasing Medicaid Reimbursements for Physician Services
Current reimbursement rates for physician services do not adequately reflect the value of professional care providers’ vital work. We advocate for higher reimbursement rates that will encourage physicians to accept Medicaid, thus increasing access to quality care for our patients.

Updating the Rural Physician Tax Credit
The existing rural physician tax credit contributes significantly to attracting skilled physicians to underserved areas. In 2023, a legislative proposal, HB283, aimed to establish a new tax incentive law and broaden the definition of “rural community” to encompass unincorporated areas within counties, even those without hospitals. The bill failed to gain sufficient support in the House, preventing its enactment. Through these updates to the current $5,000 tax credit, we aim to make it more readily accessible for rural physicians, which would, in turn, lead to better healthcare service in our rural communities.

As the legislative session approaches, we stand committed to championing these highlighted priorities. We encourage all our members to join us, advocating for a stronger, more effective healthcare system. Together, we can ensure that our voices are heard and that our healthcare system remains robust, equitable, and adaptive in these rapidly changing times.