With just 2 weeks remaining to garner as much support as we can for Budget Amendment #935, the MCNP is asking all members to reach out to their Family, Friends, Patients and Professional Colleagues and ask them to contact Governor Patrick and their State Legislators and urge them to advocate for this legislation.
The time is NOW as we may never have as much of a chance at passing this legislation as we do currently. We must seize this opportunity while we have strong supporters in the State House.
To see an example of how important this legislation is to our patients, please read the letter of support below submiited to Governor Patrick.
Dear Governor Patrick,
My name is Constantine Charos and as your constituent who cares about accessing safe and cost effective health care in the Commonwealth, I am writing to ask you for your support of Senate Budget Amendment #935, An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs. I would further urge you to speak with your colleagues on the Conference Committee and urge them to release it for your signature of approval.
I want to share with you my support of nurse practitioners and what they bring to health care in Massachusetts. Recently, I was unable to be seen by a physician in a timely manner and I was assigned to see a Nurse Practitioner at the Lahey Clinic. I was so impressed with the care that I received because of the thoroughness of her history taking, examination, and most importantly, the time she took with me to explain my diagnosis and what I needed to do to feel better. I am in my late eighties and to me that meant an awful lot. The fact the nurse practitioner took the time to answer my questions and concerns, educate me about my diagnosis and treatment, and the added attention actually helped me stay at home rather that be admitted to a hospital.
As a navy veteran of World War II I would expect to be able to access care when needed and not have to wait more than 60 days to be seen by a provider, like some of my veteran colleagues. I recently read in the Washington Post that the national average wait time for health care appointments is 18.5 days yet Massachusetts has the highest wait times in the country at 45 days. Why should a veteran wait even longer? Nurse practitioners and CRNAs are safe and highly trained experts in providing quality care. In addition, the value of health care competition to the economy should not be underestimated. To have the choice of who provided my care, at the time when I truly needed it was what saved me from my hospital admission and saved government tax dollars.
Physicians may tell you that NPs and CRNAs are unsafe but I have not seen any solid evidence of this claim in either the literature or in my experience with my nurse practitioner. In reading a report from the FTC, I noted that Massachusetts health care consumers would likely benefit from lower costs, additional innovation, and improved access to care because the Amendment #935 helps expand the supply of services and providers to the Commonwealth.
I appreciate all that you have done to represent my needs and now I am asking you to support Amendment #935 An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs and the contributions of nurse practitioners and how they enhance the health and wellness of the citizens of the Commonwealth. Please act now by asking the Conference Committee to favorably and expediently release the bill in the Senate Budget to be signed by you before July 1st. I look forward to hearing back from you with a favorable response.