OAAPN Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2020
A Conversation with Joscelyn Greaves, OAAPN President
What are some of the highlights from 2019, both for APRNs as a profession and OAAPN as an organization?
For OAAPN, of course, the most significant thing to happen this year is the introduction of House Bill 177 by Representative Brinkman in April, and the subsequent Sub. H.B. 177 in November. The bill has had 5 hearings, and continues to move through the legislative process. In October, OAAPN also hosted a Day at the State House, during which 100 APRNs met with 58 legislators to continue to educate them and discuss HB. 177. Shortly after that, OAAPN hosted the Statewide Conference at the Columbus Convention Center, October 24-26, welcoming more than 750 attendees.
Advanced Practice Nursing as a profession continues to gain strength, and we recently celebrated an increase in Medicaid reimbursement in Ohio to 100% for mental health APRNs. At the national level, the Trump administration released an Executive Order encouraging healthcare providers to have the opportunity to practice to the top of their education, skill, and license. This is a positive step towards achieving our goal of removing the barriers that limit our practice, like the Standard Care Arrangement (SCA).
What were some of the major initiatives for OAAPN in 2019, and where do they stand heading into 2020?
Our goals for 2019 included:
- Removal of the SCA
- Increase reimbursement which we did for mental health in Medicaid and want to see 100% across the board
- To provide feedback, discussion, and concerns regarding population focus with the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBON) in regards to their interpretive guidelines for APRNs.
As we move into 2020, we will continue to work towards our primary goal of seeing the passage of HB 177. It was a good year in 2019, and I think that we are at a good spot to hit the ground running in 2020.
In regards to reimbursement, this has much room to grow. While there has been a gain for mental health care, we would like to see changes for all APRNs and, therefore, we are going to continue the dialogue with stakeholders.
As for the OBON interpretive guidelines, there continues to be much discussion, and I believe that there was progress made at the last advisory committee meeting at the end of October. We are looking forward to build on that progress and continue the open dialogue.
Additionally, our Government Relations committee continues to monitor bills that are being introduced, and looking specifically at those that involve healthcare. Our goal is to try to keep them provider-neutral, and to always watch for opportunities to advance our profession.
Are there any major issues for the profession or the organization that you foresee in 2020?
Some of the primary issues that APRNs will face or continue to face as we move into 2020 are:
- The ability to have their DNR orders be followed by EMS professionals.
- The ability to sign Home Care orders, which has been an ongoing issue that would be very beneficial to change.
- The need for improvement in reimbursement with all insurance companies.
- An increase in APRN representation on state-level committees.
Overall the state of APRN in 2019 and heading into 2020 is…
I am excited for the future of my profession. I am excited to see the work we have done, how HB 177 has progressed in the past 8 months, and to see where we can go in the coming year. This is a great opportunity for APRNs to stand together to support our practice and our patients.
As we all know, 2020 is an election year with both a Presidential election as well as many important state offices up for grabs. We are going to try and be as active and successful as possible in a calendar year that will be limited by these elections and their outcomes, and need every single APRN to help!
Do you have any personal goals for 2020 in relation to your work with OAAPN?
My goal would be to continue to advocate for APRNs across the state with legislators, state organizations, and fellow medical professionals. I have worked this past year to build new relationships, while fostering the existing relationships and will continue with this progress in 2020.
Ultimately my goal is to continue to advance our profession within the state as well. This is what we have done with HB 177 and through our government relations committee and I would love to be able to see the HB 177 through the house and the senate.
It is all about teamwork. OAAPN has a great board as well as lobbyists, legal team and public affairs groups that have been very active in coming together to pursue our common goals. There is so much we can do by working as a team and you can be apart of that team by being a member or Key person.