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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published November 17, 2021

American Association of College of Nursing - Washington Weekly - Your Inside Track to Federal Policy

House Expected to Take Up Build Back Better Act in the Coming Days

On November 3, the House of Representatives released an updated draft of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). We are excited to see many of our priorities listed, including:

  • $500 million for School of Nursing in Underserved Areas: Similar to the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act, this section would provide much needed resources to support our nursing schools, faculty, and students.
  • $500 million for the Nurse Corps: To support scholarships and loan repayment assistance for nurses at a healthcare facility with a critical shortage or nurse faculty at an accredited school of nursing.
  • $170 million to Grow and Diversify the Nursing Workforce in Maternal and Perinatal Health.

To see the draft bill, click here. For the Section-by-Section, click here.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Build Back Better Act in the coming days

We need your help to ensure these nursing provisions remain in this legislation! ACT NOW by emailing your federal Representative TODAY asking them to keep these investments in nursing education and the workforce in any final bill passed by the House.

AACN will continue to monitor the Build Back Better Act as it moves through Congress. Please follow @AACNPolicy for the latest updates.

Final CMS Comments Include AACN Supported Priorities

On September 10, AACN submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Physician Fee Schedule. In these comments, AACN outlined strong support for Provider Neutral Language throughout the rule making process and expressed the integral role schools of nursing play in any national vaccination distribution strategy. On November 2, CMS released their Final Rule updating payment policies, payment rates, and other provisions for services. In this Final Rule, CMS recognized that “commenters requested that CMS use “provider-neutral” language in all regulatory rulemaking” as propagated by AACN’s comments. Additionally, the Final Rule recognized schools of nursing as a healthcare provider that, “significantly increased their vaccination capabilities in an effort to immunize as many Americans as possible against COVID-19.” AACN is proud to have our comments considered and included in this process and will continue to advocate for these provisions going forward.

AACN Attends ASPR Stakeholder Webinar on Public Health

On November 10, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) hosted a virtual listening session regarding COVID-19 response efforts and public health awareness. Panelist discussed federal government partnerships and infrastructure initiatives to support innovation in addressing health security threats. Key updates related to the Strategic National Stockpile, supply chain, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) were shared with participants along with new methodologies to enhance future responses to public health concerns. To learn more about this event, click here.

Join Us in Recognizing National Rural Health Day on November 18

On Thursday, November 18, the Health Resources and Services Administration recognizes and celebrates National Rural Health Day. This day highlights the unique healthcare challenges of rural America and addresses strategies to achieving health equity in these communities. Join us in recognizing this day as we support our schools, faculty, students, and patients who live and work in rural areas. Learn more about National Rural Health Day and its programming by clicking here. Follow @AACNPolicy as we recognize this day as well.

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