AAN News & Opinion
- Patients with complex and chronic illnesses and those who have significant needs related to care coordination and transitions of care are dependent on access to healthcare providers who are skilled at meeting the distinct needs of these populations and are current in the latest evidence-based practices and guidelines. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are uniquely qualified to care for patients with complex illnesses as well as having the skills to optimize care for entire populations with complex needs.
- In 2013, an estimated 40 million family caregivers provided an average of 18 hours of care per week, reflecting approximately $470 billion in unpaid caregiving contributions (Reinhard, Feinberg, Choula, & Houser, 2015). Projected demographic shifts in the U.S., including the rapidly aging population (World Health Organization, 2015) and increase of individuals living with chronic conditions across the lifespan (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, 2011; Houtrow, Larson, Olson, Newacheck, & Halfon, 2014), will increase the demand for family caregivers.
- Over the past 2 decades there has been an increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality for young women aged 35 to 54 years that corresponds with an increase in CVD risk factors. Yet, both young women and their providers underestimate CVD risk. Expert recommendations to provide patient education on CVD prevention and consider CVD risk factors in women have failed to detail the unique considerations in young women. The American Academy of Nursing (Academy) supports (a) increasing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for both basic research and clinical trials that focus on CVD risk in young women; (b) amplifying health-care system quality improvement initiatives to increase clinicians' rates of practice consistent with clinical guidelines for CVD risk; (c) partnering among primary care providers and specialists in women's health and cardiovascular health to assess and manage women's CVD risk; and (d) collaborating with public health and community organizations to lead initiatives for CVD risk reduction in young women.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has differential payment for inpatient and observation status patient services. Observational stays are not credited toward the admission criteria for a skilled nursing facility (SNF). This rule poses financial concerns and burdens for Medicare patients. The Academy supports efforts to amend and replace the current payment rules with a more equitable payment policy for observation status and to limit its financial liability on patients.