Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice TITLE: Strategic Theme: Strengthen C/SNA and ANA Enterprise Infrastructure and Relationships

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1 1 2 3 TITLE: Strategic Theme: Programmatic Pillar: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Strengthen C/SNA and ANA Enterprise Infrastructure and Relationships Care Innovation Introduced by: President s/chair s /Designee s Name: Montana Nurses Association Oregon Nurses Association Ohio Nurses Association Indiana Nurses Association Washington State Nurses Association Susan King, MS, RN, CEN, FAAN for Oregon Nurses Association president Steve Rooney, RN Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 1

2 The Proposed action requests a clarification and a reaffirmation of ANA policy, Interstate/Multistate Practice (1999) related to licensure jurisdiction for those registered nurses who practice across state lines using technology, including telephone, internet, robotics, etc. The action clarifies jurisdiction when the registered nurse and patient are in different states. Recommendation(s): [Provide punctuation after Whereas statement as appropriate.] Whereas, The United States is attempting to reform its health care system by emphasizing increasing access and quality while cutting costs or reducing the rate at which costs increase; Whereas, Through the use of technology, new methods of health care delivery that will increase access and could significantly reduce the cost of care are becoming available and widely employed; Whereas, Nurses use of technology often results in the registered nurse and patient being physically located in different states; Whereas, There is variability and lack of clarity at both the federal and state level about the licensure jurisdiction for registered nurses and other professionals providing care across state lines; Whereas, The lack of clarity and consistent policy may result in increased costs for professionals and the health care system and prevent the appropriate adoption of technology for delivering care; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Nurses Association will: Advocate for policy that will support licensure jurisdiction at the location of the registered nurse. Report: See attached References: See attached 5 Past House of Delegates Actions: ANA House of Delegates Action Report on Interstate/Multistate Practice, June Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 2

3 Suggested Implementation Activities: Implementation activities are determined by the ANA Board of Directors, in keeping with its corporate and fiduciary authority and responsibility. The suggested implementation activities are examples of how an action might be implemented. Care must be taken to focus the Resolved statements on providing guidance and/or direction to ANA without getting so specific as to be prescriptive. Apply ANA policy on licensure jurisdiction when addressing proposed federal legislation and regulations. Provide information to states to assist in advocating for the proposed policy in state legislatures and agencies. Publish information about innovative nursing practice activities that use technology and assess their impact on quality, access, and cost. Urge the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to support this policy with their member boards. Meet with nursing and other organizations to advocate for this policy in the development of their standards and positions. Budgetary Impact: ANA s State Government Affairs staff would support Constituent/State Nurses Associations (C/SNAs) with the provision of model language and talking points for pursuit of state policy change. ANA s Nursing Practice & Policy staff would research and publish information pertaining to innovative practices using technology. State Government Affairs (5%) salary and Nursing Practice & Policy (5%) salary plus fringe benefits for a total estimated expense of $12, 915. NOTE: Under Suggested Implementation Activities above, bullets number 1, 4, and 5 are covered under ongoing work Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 3

4 8 9 Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Report Rationale for Reference Proposal While many states have enacted legislation or have established policies for licensing those who provide nursing care within their borders (Rotenberg and Greenberg, 2012), this approach lacks feasibility. It is not clear that such policies are enforceable because states likely do not know which providers are interacting with their residents. In many cases, with the advent of cell phone and internet contacts, providers may not know the location of their patients. Thus, requiring a license in each state where a patient receiving services might be located, even on a brief episodic basis, creates new barriers to both established and emerging practices and increases costs in a changing health care environment. Any policy that endorses the need for licensure across state borders may inhibit nurses from sharing information with patients and demonstrating alignment with established best practices. This new requirement would come at a time when we, as a nation, are working to create increased efficiencies in our health care delivery system by facilitating the transfer of information from nurses to their patients, thereby increasing timely access to care. The nurse is a vital member of the multidisciplinary team model of care that is congruent with, and represented by, the tenets of the Affordable Care Act. Despite the patchwork of existing policies, ANA should take a leadership role in advocating for policy that will enable innovative, cost-effective health care delivery while protecting the public Background Nurses have used technology for decades to interact with patients. Follow-up phone calls to determine the condition of a patient discharged from a hospital have been a routine practice. Poison Control Centers, which provide services to a multi-state region, have provided valuable and timely lifesaving care to patients with intentional or accidental exposures. Both of these practices have historically involved nurses talking with patients in the same state and in states different from that of the nurse. While past use of remote patient contact has primarily been by telephone, more advanced technologies are now available and others, such as robots, real-time video, and electronic mail are being developed. The appropriate use of technology to provide care will facilitate efficiency particularly for patients in remote areas, for those with physical and transportation challenges, and for those who choose to utilize alternatives to traditional face-to-face consultations. An increasingly mobile population that communicates with health care providers with cell phones and the internet is very likely to receive health care services from a provider located in another state. For example, many retired individuals choose to live part of the year in warm climates of the Southwest United States. If their primary provider is located in Oregon and they need advice about a health care situation, their care will occur via the telephone, video technology, or . Simple follow-up 2013 Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 4

5 calls such as those made by ED nurses are often made to cell phones, making it difficult or impossible to know in which state the patient is located. In both scenarios, holding a license in all states in which a patient might be located lacks feasibility. While reimbursement policies for such technology-based visits have lagged, the use of electronic and other media for giving and receiving health care services is expected to continue growing. Standards for primary care are increasingly incorporating a variety of patient interactions, including phone and . Providing care to a patient who is not in the same location as the provider raises questions about where the encounter is actually occurring. Some assert that because the patient is choosing the provider, he or she is coming to the visit by electronic means rather than being physically present with the provider. Alternatively, others believe that the visit takes place at the patient s location. While this may seem a small distinction, it raises the question of licensure jurisdiction (Hutcherson, 2001). Licensure requirements for nurses who provide technology-enabled care across state lines can vary. This coupled with a lack of statutory authorization in some cases can make them unclear. For example, the Oregon State Board of Nursing advises nurses that they must be licensed in Oregon to provide care via the telephone or other technologies but no statutory authorization or Board policy exists to support such advice. The Washington State Department of Health Nursing Commission reportedly gives similar advice, despite verbally acknowledging the lack of statutory or policy authority. Conversely, in California telephone medical advice was made part of the Business and Professions Code and requires California licenses for employees of businesses with at least five full-time equivalent staff. Massachusetts has statutory authority requiring a state license for nurses from another state who provide telecommunication care to patients in Massachusetts. At the federal level, in 1998 the Health Care Financing Administration developed reimbursement policies for telehealth. These policies determined that the site of practice is the site where the provider is located. In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals Conditions of Participation: Telemedicine Credentialing and Privileging, which required licensure in the state where the patient is receiving telemedicine services. In the agency s comments, however, it defers to state laws related to licensure. The Nurse Licensure Compact Though the Compact was not specifically developed to address licensure jurisdiction for telehealth nursing, those states that belong to it have de facto addressed the issue of crossstate-border practice. The Compact allows a nurse to practice in any Compact-participating state on the home-state license. Thus, the Compact is often cited as the answer to questions about licensure jurisdiction for cross-border practice. To date, however, only 24 states have chosen to belong to the Compact and concerns exist about its consequences. (ANA, 2012). Patient Protection The issue of patient protection offered by state licensing boards is a primary consideration in both in-state practice as well as practice across a state border. Licensing boards provide public 2013 Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 5

6 protection by enacting appropriate standards for the profession as well as investigating and disciplining licensees who violate the law or accepted standards of conduct. Nothing about the provision of nursing services across a state line per se diminishes the nurse s accountability to the patient. If the patient knows the identity, location, and credential of the nurse providing care, the appropriate state regulatory agency can be readily accessed should a question arise about a nurse s conduct Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 6

7 Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice References American Nurses Association, Nursing World: Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact: States Participating in the Nurse Licensure Compact; linking to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) map (2012): Advocacy/State/Legislative-Agenda-Reports/LicensureCompact. California Business and Professions Code. Division 2, Chapter 15, Section Retrieved from Gaffney, T. (May 31, 1999). The regulatory dilemma surrounding interstate practice. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol 4, No. 1, Manuscript 1. Hutcherson, C. M. (September 30, 2001). Legal considerations for nurses practicing in a telehealth setting. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol 6, No. 3, Manuscript 3. King, S. E. (May 31, 1999). Multistate licensure: Premature policy. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol 4, No. 1, Manuscript 3. Rutenberg, C. & Greenberg, M. E. (2012). The art and science of telephone triage: How to practice nursing over the phone (pp & pp ). Pitman, N.J.: Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. Massachusetts Statute. 244 CMR: Board of registration in nursing. Section 9.02 and 9.03(4). Retrieved from Oregon Health Authority (2011). Standards for recognition: Patient centered primary care home. Retrieved from State of Washington Administrative Code, Title 246, chapter , Section : Standards of Nursing conduct or Practice, State of Washington Nursing Practice Act, RCW : Licenses required Titles: Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 7

8 U.S. Government Printing Office. Conditions of participation: Medical staff. Electronic code of federal regulations, Title 42, Part Retrieved from Membership Assembly: Licensure Jurisdiction for Cross-Border Nursing Practice Page 8

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