TAHP Joins THCA’s Call to Increase Affordable Access to Care

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By: TAHP | Thursday, January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The COVID-19 crisis has underscored just how important it is for Texas to address our systemic health care provider shortage. Before COVID-19, over 7 million Texans were already experiencing shortages of primary care and over 15 million Texans were already experiencing a shortage of behavioral health care. During the 87th Session, the Texas Association of Health Plans will be advocating to increase affordable access to high-quality health care through more options, better quality, and lower costs.

As part of our efforts to expand health care access and options in Texas, we are excited to announce that we are joining the Texans for Healthcare Access (THCA)—a coalition of more than 30 organizations representing consumers, businesses and health care stakeholders calling on lawmakers to eliminate outdated regulations on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to provide Texas patients more access and more options to affordable health care.

While more than 30 states have removed outdated barriers to care, Texas has become one of the least competitive states in the country for attracting and retaining critically-needed APRNs, unnecessarily leaving Texas patients without affordable and accessible health care.

In 2013, the Texas Legislature eliminated requirements for APRNs to have on-site supervision by a physician, yet, years later, the state continues to require APRNs to have unnecessary, often costly contracts with physicians in order to care for Texas patients. It is time to remove this unnecessary red tape that is currently inhibiting half of Texas’ primary health care workforce from expanding into new areas and establishing new practices where they can increase access and options for Texas patients.

A growing mountain of evidence from the Institute of Medicine, the National Governors Association, the Federal Trade Commission, American Enterprise Institute, and Brookings, supports the same conclusion: removing delegation requirements for APRNs eases health care provider shortages, improves quality of care, and reduces health care costs—especially in rural and underserved areas.

The future of health care in Texas means changing the status quo. We shouldn’t wait for another pandemic to address the shortcomings in our health system—Texans need more access and more options.

Learn more about Texans for Health Care Access

Texans for Healthcare Access is comprised of a growing number of highly diverse organizations representing consumers, business, and a broad range of health care stakeholders. These groups have joined forces to remove unnecessary barriers to care and allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to provide more access and more options to Texas patients.

View the press release here.
Follow THCA’s Twitter.
Follow THCA’s Facebook.

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