Nurse Care Coordination

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Nurse Care Coordination

Improving patient outcomes and decreasing cost

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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The role that registered nurses play in patient care coordination needs to be recognized by healthcare providers, third-party payers and the federal government. So says the American Nurses Association (ANA) in a new position paper that encourages not only recognition but full funding of this nursing practice, which can lead to improved patient outcomes and decreased medical costs. (“Care coordination” is generally defined as ensuring that patients’ needs and preferences are met effectively over time and throughout changes in settings.)

Lack of Reimbursement for Services
The position paper is entitled “Care Coordination and Registered Nurses’ Essential Role.” According to the ANA, current practice does not recognize the importance of this function and does not provide reimbursement for care coordination as a distinct component of patient care.

ANA leaders recently met with an administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to discuss how the recommendations might be implemented. In addition to the advocacy paper, the ANA has released a report entitled “The Value of Nurse Care Coordination,” highlighting multiple studies that show the positive impact of nurse-led and nurse-managed care, including reduced costs, fewer emergency department visits and fewer hospital readmissions.

You can find copies of both the position paper and the report on the ANA website.

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