by Dr. Ron Billano Ordona, DNP, FNP-BC
For us in the house calls practice, as soon as we see our first elderly, homebound patient of the day, we get the rewarding feeling that these vulnerable seniors would have ended up in the emergency department if not for our preventive care. For this vulnerable population group, APRNs in the house call practice provide the much-needed access to care.
As such, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)’s Campaign for Action1 supports changes that would allow APRNs to certify for home health services. Removing this barrier will mean that more Americans will have improved access to high-quality, affordable health care, when and where they need it. This is especially necessary for those who are homebound and vulnerable, as well as those in underserved areas or rural of the country.
APRNs, particularly those that do house calls for homebound seniors, act as a bridge to improving access to care for the growing population of seniors. An increasing number of homebound seniors are not able to see primary care providers in their offices but do need home health services. In some U.S. states, APRN practices have to wait for collaborating physicians’ signature on home health certification documents thereby, delaying the delivery of care.
It would be in the patient’s best interest that the provider who makes the house call to be the provider who certifies the need for home health services and communicates those needs to the Medicare-certified home health agency2.
We would like to meet with more GAPNA members who do house calls. Please see us at the national conference in Washington, D.C. in September. The Housecalls SIG, which meets via telephone and video conference monthly every first Thursday at 5:30 PM (Pacific), would like to meet and greet September 28 at 4:30 pm (Eastern). Exact room will be announced at the conference. Please watch out for it or reach out in advance.
If you plan to attend the Annual Conference, use the conference app to chat and connect with the Housecalls SIG! Navigate to Chat Channels, and select Housecalls SIG.
Dr. Ron Billano Ordona, DNP, FNP-BC
1 AARP Foundation. (n.d.). Improving access to care. Retrieved Aug 16, 2018, from https://campaignforaction.org/issue/improving-access-to-care/
2 Brassard, A. (2012). Removing barriers to advanced practice registered nurse care: Home health and hospice services. Insight on the Issues, 1-10. Retrieved Aug 16, 2018, from https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-07-2012/removing-bar...)