Today, the Access to Care Coalition, which includes 19 specialty physician organizations and more than 31,000 member physicians in New Jersey, launched a campaign to highlight the importance of ensuring physicians lead and participate health care decisions.
Starting this week, the Coalition’s campaign, which includes a relaunch of its website and social media, as well as digital advertisements, will emphasize the importance of maintaining a relationship with your doctor, highlight the benefits of team-based care and will highlight the value of physician collaboration and supervision of non-physician team members, including advanced practice nurses (APNs) and physician assistants (PAs).
“We have all seen the evolution from a traditional medical practice of Marcus Welby, MD, working alone, to today’s medical practices, which include physicians working with a team of healthcare providers, including APNs and AMs. Team-based care offers patients the flexibility to receive all levels of care based on what they need at the time and allows non-physician providers to collaborate and see physicians within the same practice and often just at the time of the patient’s visit. . While APNs and PAs play an increasingly visible role, physicians lead the team providing patient care and play a vital role, whether it is a health visit or a postoperative surgical visit,” said Michael Cascarina, MD, chairman of the board, New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians.
Team-based care is consistently recognized as a best practice for providing the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost while improving patient outcomes. A 2021 article published in Health Affairs examined data from electronic health records and found that teams of physicians and other non-physician providers outperformed independent providers. Additionally, according to the American Medical Association, 95% of voters think it’s important for a doctor to be part of their healthcare team with their experience in directing their treatment and diagnosis. However, an effort is underway in Trenton that would break up the care team by allowing APNs to see patients in their own practice without the safety net of working with a physician and other non-physician providers in the proven model in team. Legislation recently introduced in the Senate and Assembly, S-1522/A-2286, would allow APNs to see patients without having a collaborating physician and a joint memorandum of understanding that defines practice parameters for prescribing agreed-upon medications by the APN and the doctor.
“As physicians, we understand the value of team care and what we can accomplish together for the benefit of the patient, not just what each healthcare professional can accomplish independently,” said Steven Orland, MD, President. of the Medical Society. from New Jersey. “S-1522/A-2286 does not solve the labor issues facing patient care in New Jersey. These bills move away from team-based care and focus on the independent practice of advanced practice nurses. At a time when New Jerseyans need integrated, team-based care for complex medical and surgical conditions, the shift to siled care will undo the progress made by health care teams. For decades, New Jersey physicians have embraced the team approach, working alongside advanced practice professionals such as PAs and APNs to expand access, improve quality, and reduce the cost of care. delivery. In an era of constant innovation in clinical care and challenges related to manpower and cost, New Jersey’s political leaders should promote cost-effective, patient-centered care, not patient-centered care. independent practice models.
Additionally, the bill specifically allows APNs to administer anesthesia and manage anesthesia services without the supervision of an anesthetist, which puts patients at unnecessary risk. Studies show that APNs practicing independently have led to an 8.7% increase in patient spending on surgery costs, and patients are 80% more likely to be hospitalized after outpatient surgery. Therefore, independent practice does not improve access to care or reduce costs, but can have disastrous consequences for the patient.
“We are committed to the value and benefits of this team approach and are dedicated to its importance to patient safety. Whenever studied, the value of physician-led care is in the best interest of patients and has been shown to improve access, cost, safety and quality of care,” said said Amanda Burden, MD, president of the NJ State Society. anesthesiologists. “We are very concerned that anyone would want to deny patients the right to have a doctor at such a critical time in their health care.”
The Coalition will also work to remove barriers to RPNs practicing at the peak of their education and training in team practice, and will work with supporters of this legislation to address these barriers, with the ultimate goal improve collaboration between APNs and physicians leading to better patient outcomes.
For more than a decade, the Access to Care Coalition has worked together to promote access to quality medical care for patients.
Members of the Access to Care Coalition include:
• Medical Society of New Jersey
• New Jersey Orthopedic Society
• New Jersey State Society of Anesthesiologists
• New Jersey Psychiatric Association
• Radiological Society of New Jersey
• American College of Emergency Physicians of New Jersey
• Society of Plastic Surgeons of New Jersey
• American College of Physicians – NJ Chapter
• New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians
• New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmologists
• Association of Ambulatory Surgical Centers of New Jersey
• American Academy of Pediatrics – NJ Chapter
• Neurosurgical Society of New Jersey
• Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of New Jersey
• New Jersey Society of Pathologists
• New Jersey Chapter of the American College of OB/GYNs
• New Jersey Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
• NJ Patient Care and Access Coalition
• Society of Urologists of New Jersey
For more information about the Coalition and its efforts, visit: www.accesstocarecoalition.com.
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