The US House of Representatives passed HR 6087, the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act.  The act would expand access to workers’ compensation for federal employees injured on the job who often rely on nurse practitioners (NPs) and PAs as their primary care providers.

The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) has limited the ability of workers to choose an NP or PA as their medical provider.1 This bipartisan legislation aims to expand the role of NPs and PAs by allowing them to provide services to injured federal workers under the federal workers’ compensation program.


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Acting within the scope of their practice, NPs and PAs would be able to:

  • Prescribe and recommend treatment for injured federal workers
  • Certify the nature of an injury and probable extent of disability
  • Provide prescribed treatment for injured federal workers 
  • Participate (with a physician) in a mandatory workers’ compensation examination of an injured worker

AANP and AAPA Applaud Legislation

“We applaud the US House of Representatives and the 325 members of Congress who voted in favor of this important legislation, which will help ensure that injured federal workers receive prompt access to high-quality health care for their work-related injuries,” said April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).2

“The US House helps move federal employees — who can already choose an NP as their health care provider under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program — one step closer to utilizing those same providers to certify and oversee the care of their workplace-related injuries,” she said. “HR 6087 is a common-sense, no-cost solution to give federal workers timely access to the care they need, when they need it most.”

Jennifer M. Orozco, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, American Academy of PAs (AAPA) president and chair of the board, also extended her gratitude to the US House of Representatives for passing the bill. “AAPA commends the sponsors of HR 6087 for securing support for this legislation that will ensure PAs are recognized under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program to diagnose medical conditions, certify injury and extent of disability, and oversee patient treatment and care,” Orozco stated.3

The current policy excludes PAs and creates a barrier that reduces access to care for approximately 2 million federal employees, Dr Orozco said. “With more than 400 million patient visits annually, PAs are an essential part of today’s team-based health care. We urge the Senate to stand with patients and quickly pass this legislation to correct this arbitrary restriction for federal employees and ensure injured federal workers have better access to quality care without increasing federal spending.”

“By passing this bill, the US House has once again acted to reduce unnecessary barriers to timely care, enabling the nation’s NPs to provide health care services in accordance with state law. We urge the US Senate to promptly pass HR 6087,” Dr Kapu said.

References

1. H.R.6087 – Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act, 117th Congress (2021-2022). Accessed June 9, 2022. https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/6087/text

2. AANP statement on U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 6087. News release. American Association of Nurse Practitioners. June 7, 2022. Accessed June 9, 2022. https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/aanp-statement-on-u-s-house-of-representatives-passage-of-h-r-6087

3. AAPA applauds house passage of improving access to workers’ compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act. News release. American Academy of PAs. June 7, 2022. Accessed June 9, 2022. https://www.aapa.org/news-central/2022/06/aapa-applauds-house-passage-of-improving-access-to-workers-compensation-for-injured-federal-workers-act/

This article originally appeared on Clinical Advisor