Janet Setnor, president of the Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists, wants nurses to have given greater practice authority.  Photo by Lexey Swall

By Tamara Lytle When nurse anesthetist and Air Force Reserve Col. Jan Setnor served as a sole provider at a forward operating base in Afghanistan, no doctor was looking over her shoulder as she cared for patients. But back home in Reston in civilian practice, “all of a sudden, I’m supervised again,” she said. Setnor and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have master’s degrees and are trained to work without a physician’s supervision. They are working to educate state …

Robert Moore said he should have received instructions on how to care for his wife before her discharge from the hospital. Photo by Leah Nash

By Merry MacKinnon When Robert C. A. Moore heard his wife, Janie, calling to him, he hurried into the kitchen, where he found her lying on the terra-cotta floor. She had fallen and broken her hip. Janie had her hip replaced in Mexico, where they were visiting. But after returning to Portland, she was hospitalized for replacement of the new hip. Back home, Moore fed her, washed her, helped her onto her electric scooter and encouraged her to do her …

Nurse practitioner Kathy Gray is seeking to open her own primary care practice. Photo by Charles Mostoller

By Hilary Appelman On any given day, Kathy Gray might give a newborn a well-baby exam, diagnose a child with flu, prescribe medication for an underactive thyroid, order a colonoscopy, make a referral to an endocrinologist and counsel an older patient on managing high blood pressure. After 16 years as a nurse practitioner, Gray would love to open her own primary care practice. But she says a Pennsylvania law that requires nurse practitioners to have a contractual arrangement with a …

Family nurse practitioner Elizabeth Chidothe meets with Kendra Lori Gail Perez in the patient’s home. Photo by Ackerman + Gruber

  By Mary Van Beusekom Until Jan. 1, Elizabeth Chidothe, a family nurse practitioner in Minneapolis, had to work under contract to a physician she rarely saw. Now, thanks to a new state law, she is free to practice and prescribe on her own. “The law has essentially reflected what was already in practice, where we weren’t in need of this contract,” she said. The written physician agreements, nurses say, were a barrier to their practice because they were tethered …

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Your insights as a patient or caregiver can help doctors, hospitals and nursing homes deliver better care. VHQC, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network for Virginia, is seeking volunteers to contribute their experience to statewide healthcare improvement initiatives. AARP Virginia is one of VHQC’s partners in this work, which includes projects that focus on living well with diabetes or heart disease, avoiding infections in healthcare facilities, coordinating care after discharge from the hospital, and improving quality in nursing homes. You will …

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Choosing Wisely: Making Better Health Care Choices for You & Your Family A Community Forum Join “At Home on Munjoy Hill” (AHOM) & Maine Quality Counts on Sunday, Feb 8, 2-4PM East End School, 195 North St, Portland Bring a friend, bring your family, and join us for an engaging discussion! The U.S. spends more on health care than any other developed country – and gets worse results. At the same time, we know that as patients, we sometimes ask …

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In a state facing a shortage of primary care physicians, AARP Kentucky is urging lawmakers to increase the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Kentucky has nearly 3,000 APRNs, who have advanced clinical training and experience. Current regulations restrict them from writing prescriptions or ordering home health and hospice services without a doctor’s involvement. “That adds unnecessary expense and delay to patient care, particularly in rural communities underserved by doctors,” said Jim Kimbrough, AARP state president. AARP …

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By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News In a decision that could have national implications, a federal judge in Connecticut temporarily blocked UnitedHealthcare late Thursday from dropping an estimated 2,200 physicians from its Medicare Advantage plan in that state. While the judge’s decision affects only the physicians in Fairfield and Hartford Counties who brought suit, several other medical groups are considering filing similar actions. “This is very good news from Connecticut,” said Dr. Sam L. Unterricht, president of the Medical Society …

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We’ve repeatedly heard the claim by critics of Medicare that doctors are refusing to see Medicare patients because of poor reimbursement and government intrusion into their practices.  From such accusations one might conclude that doctors are shying away from Medicare patients in huge numbers. A new study conducted by experts at the Department of Health and Human Services, released last month, shows that there is little truth in that assertion. MedPage Today notes: “… the percentage of all office-based physicians …

Testimony: Senate Health and Welfare Committee Senate Bill 9 February 6, 2013 Submitted by: James T. Kimbrough President AARP Kentucky Good afternoon, Madame Chair and members of the committee, my name is Jim Kimbrough. I am the (volunteer) State President for AARP Kentucky. We appreciate the opportunity to speak on behalf of today’s nursing home residents and future generations in opposition to Senate Bill 9. AARP opposes Senate Bill 9. We believe the solution to improving the quality of care …