AACN's Washington Weekly

Published August 19, 2020

COVID-19 Policy Update: Federal Partnerships and Agency Action

Administration Announces New Rural Health Initiative

Last week, the Administration announced a new initiative, the Community Health and Rural Transformation (CHART) model, which aims to increase access and choice for the more than 57 million Americans living in rural areas. This initiative correlates with the President’s Executive Order 13941 and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) goal on transforming and innovating rural healthcare and telehealth. Patients living in rural communities face unique obstacles when it comes to access to care, including transportation and access to healthcare professionals. Further, those living in rural areas have comparatively higher rates of preventable diseases than those living in urban areas. The CHART model will work to transform rural health care through investments towards rural communities and beneficiaries across the nation. For more information on the model and provider eligibility, please click here.

AACN Engagement with CMS

As part of ongoing COVID-19 policy activities, AACN has been working closely with our federal partners, including CMS. Since March, AACN has participated in more than 60 calls with CMS, including those discussing nursing, providing office hours and regulatory support, and highlighting lessons from the frontlines. Discussions occur around the status of COVID-19, how it impacts nursing education and the workforce, and ongoing activity in the health system. AACN has continually advanced pertinent issues through these calls, including the drastic need for more nurses, the shortage of PPE, and the need for nursing students to satisfy clinical learning requirements. AACN will continue to participate in these and other federal policy calls to advocate for academic nursing.

Volunteer and Virtual Meeting Opportunities

CMS’ Medicaid Integrity Institute (MII) has launched an appeal for volunteers to participate in their training mission and increase the number of potential instructors. State Medicaid personnel are encouraged to volunteer in various ways, ranging from presenting lectures to developing classroom exercises. Please note that volunteer applicants are subject to approval by the Program Integrity Directors. For more information on how to apply to be an MII volunteer, click here.

Mark your Calendar: On September 15, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm (ET), the National Institute of Nursing Research’s (NINR) National Advisory Council for Nursing Research will hold a public meeting to discuss program policies and issues. To join the conversation and attend this “virtual” meeting, click here.   

AACN Attends Virtual Events on COVID-19’s Impact on Higher Education and Public Health

Adapting to a New Higher Education Landscape

On August 13, AACN attended a Washington Post webinar on how to chart a path forward in higher education, especially as colleges and universities grapple with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell and Montgomery College president DeRionne P. Pollard discussed their strategies to keep students safe while commencing with the 2020-2021 academic year. Further, this event examined steps colleges and universities are taking to ensure the safety of their students, faculty, deans, and staff. Whether going back to school in an online setting or taking a hybrid approach, this conversation recognized the immediate impact COVID-19 is having on the college experience, which could be felt for years to come. To watch the full discussion, click here.

COVID-19 Impact on Public Health Infrastructure

On August 13, AACN attended a Washington Post virtual event titled America’s Health Future. This event featured former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program Executive, Dr. Joshua Denny, and 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder, Anne Wojcicki. Speakers discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the existing public health infrastructure in the United States and other countries. Further, they recognized the opportunity this challenge offers to reimagining our nation’s approach to health care. By highlighting the innovative ways the healthcare community is improving care during these unprecedented times, the speakers outlined additional needs, including a call for more funding to expand telehealth capability. To view the highlights of the event, click here.

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