Jun 03, 2016

Proposed VA Regulation Draws 10,000 Comments and Counting

“We are looking to add to our ability to deliver health care,” the top Veterans Health Administration official told The Washington Post about the proposal that would allow advanced practice registered nurses at Veterans Affairs facilities to provide health care services to the full extent of their education and training. The response to the idea: More than 10,000 comments have come in so far to the Federal Register.

“I’m not aware that we’ve received anything like this before,” said David Shulkin, MD, undersecretary for health for the VA. And it’s been fast: The 60-day comment period goes through July 25.

(If you are not one of the thousands, comment here.)

In the June 2 interview, the chief executive of the nation’s largest integrated health care system gives some of his reasoning on the proposed regulation. He notes that health-care professionals in the country aren’t “equally distributed,” and, equally important: “My assessment of the literature, which is vast on this subject in general, is that it has shown that nurses are able to deliver high-quality care.” And yes, he believes that action by the VA might be a great influence on states with more restrictive scope of practice laws.

Read an earlier Campaign post here.

Shulkin was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.