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Coalition for Patients' Rights: Access to Broad Range of Health Care Providers Critical to Lowering Costs
Date:12/16/2009

Coalition Urges Lawmakers to Ensure and Encourage Access to Quality, Cost-Effective Care

Washington, D.C. (Vocus) December 16, 2009 -- For months, members of Congress have debated the best ways to rein in runaway costs while providing care to all as part of health care reform. An important part of the ongoing discussion includes how to ensure patients equal access to a full range of health care providers besides doctors of medicine (MDs) or osteopathy (DOs). In both the House and Senate versions of health reform bills, lawmakers have included language that rightly recognizes the importance of all types of health care providers. For example, the Senate bill includes grants for teams of health professionals that collaborate on patient care, ensuring access to a broad spectrum of providers.

Yet, as federal lawmakers demonstrate a growing understanding of the need to ensure patient access to these care providers, some state lawmakers are being aggressively lobbied to restrict patient access to health care professionals, such as advanced practice registered nurses, psychologists, naturopathic doctors and audiologists.

“There is an abundance of evidence that shows patients achieve equal or better health outcomes at lower cost to themselves and the health care system when they fully incorporate a range of health care professionals in their delivery system,” said Maureen Shekleton, PhD, RN, FAAN, a spokesperson for the Coalition for Patients’ Rights™ (CPR). CPR is comprised of more than 35 member organizations representing a variety of licensed health care professionals who provide a diverse array of safe, effective and affordable health care services to millions of patients each year.

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