Volumne 12, Issue No. 1
February 4, 2014

2012 Ends with Two Accomplishments for P-APRNs

National Defense Authorization Act Includes P-APRNs as Included Provider

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) originally included language for providers for PTSD pre-separation medical examination to include licensed clinical social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners. 

With the assistance of Senator Tom Udall (D-CO) and Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC), as well as committee staff from both the House and the Senate, the American Nurses Association, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists succeeded in getting “psychiatric advance practice registered nurse” added to the conference committee language.  With the broader language, Psychiatric-Mental Health - Nurse Practitioners (PMH-NP) and PMH-Clinical Nurse Specialists (PMH-CNS) will be able to conduct the aforementioned exams. In addition, the NDAA shows a trend of using provider neutral language to provide mental health services to military personnel.

Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule Has Major Impact for RNs & APRNs

The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, issued November 1, and effective January 1, 2013, could have a major impact for many RNs and APRNs, especially those working in psychiatric/mental health. 

On January 1, 2013, new coding and reimbursement policies go into effect for many psychiatric/mental health services. Many services will be paid at higher levels. The new policies recognize the challenges of caring for patients with severe mental illness, multiple co-morbidities and complex medications, in community settings as well as hospitals and other inpatient facilities. This is great news for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), psychiatric registered nurses (RNs), and other mental health providers. 

The new codes will also have a major impact for other RNs and APRNs, especially those working in primary care, care coordination, and nurse anesthetists. The 1,362-page Final Rule can be accessed via CMS’ website (www.cms.gov).

April Canter

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