Idaho Center for Nursing (ICN) Legislative Update
Randy Hudspeth was contacted by Rep Fulcher’s office about his article in RN IDAHO about Rep. Fulcher did not support nursing in several votes. The call turned into more than an hour conversation with his aide Steve Ackerman. It was a long and sorted call about how nursing as a professional has moved to a new level and that we (nursing) are holding legislators accountable for their actions, and that this will impact the level of support they can expect from the 27,000 nurses ICN represent—the majority of whom are Republican. Not that they would not support a Republican candidate, but they might support a different candidate in the primary.
Randy specifically gave Ackerman information about the overall nursing population and the 1,962 NPs licensed in Idaho, with 1620 identified as primary care and that 11 Idaho communities only have an NP or 2NPs as providers and that two-thirds of all primary care in Idaho is provided by an NP. THIS WAS ALL NEW NEWS TO THEM!!!!
He also addressed the Home health bill HR2150 and asked, “Why are you not listed as co-sponsor when Liz Cheney of Wyoming is?” The Medicare staff and Senator Risch has previously resisted adding more provider groups because it would increase the cost. Ackerman was told this is a falsehood because if you have 10 physicians who can Rx Home Health and 5 NPs, and suddenly 3 new physicians are added to the mix, they get to Rx HH without concerns about increasing costs. Randy used the NP in Riggins who needs HH, or even LTC for a patient, the patient has to be referred to an MD, who charges a new patient billing, admits, then refers back to the NP so follow, which results in a needless cost. Again, seemed to be new news.
Same story for HR 3911 for Cardiac Rehab.
Fulcher was asked to co-sponsor HR808, Diabetic Shoes. Rep Simson is already a co-sponsor. Asked what their justification is not to co-sponsor.
They have worked to add nursing into the HR1043 on education loans, but that is not enough. They were told that we would be publishing in RN IDAHO (that goes to 32,000 people!) their legislative records for bills we are supporting.
In other news, HB458 was killed. This was the bill on amending workplace violence felonies, and we agreed to work in the future with Rep. Necochea to modify the language.
We need support on contacting Idaho STATE HOUSE reps to vote AGAINST on HB340. This bill would allow a non-licensed substance abuse treatment facility to operate as a pilot project and treat both juvenile and adult patients in the same facility. The bill was developed because of a one-off program in north Idaho that reported some success and because there are limited treatment facilities for pediatric and juvenile patients in Idaho. Concern has arisen because it is unlicensed, is not held to standards and would house adults and juveniles together, placing some risk for abuse of youths in this population. Information for contacting legislators about this bill is:
Here is a link to an easy legislative response.