What They’re Watching: Laura Reichhardt

Laura Reichhardt is the Director of the Hawaii State Center for Nursing. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to talk about including nursing in payment transformation.

So we’ve doubled our APRN population, but for Medicare and Medicaid, APRNs still get paid at a lower rate than physicians. And so if we’re looking at the future of health care and we’re looking at business solvency, you know billing is really important. So I want to figure out how nursing can be included in payment transformation to ensure that the businesses can stay in practice so that the care can be delivered to the people who need it. We’ve also discovered the APRNs really, really in Hawaii, really do work in the most vulnerable populations, so medically underserved areas, in FQHCs, in health provider shortage areas. So with that regard, I think it’s really important to look at the inter-professional practices and how we can integrate all health professions, at their very best, together so that these vulnerable populations are receiving timely care.

And that really, we need innovation with that, we need help from our state legislators, we need help from our payors, we need help from our academic institutions, we need help from our employers to can make that happen because if we have silos, those innovations aren’t going to happen. If we have legislative barriers, then it’s impossible to try to test out these models and so I want to hear more about what these decision makers are thinking at the highest level of health care so that when we’re on the ground, we can be successful in our pilots.