• Public Affairs

    landing-header-public-affairs_37748_17213
  • ACOEM Expresses Support for Federal Workers' Compensation Modernization and Improvement Act


    The Honorable John Kline
    Chairman
    Committee on Education and the Workforce
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515
    The Honorable George Miller
    Ranking Member
    Committee on Education and the Workforce
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

     

    Dear Sirs:

    I am writing on behalf of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) to express our support for H.R. 2465, the Federal Workers' Compensation Modernization and Improvement Act. Specifically, we support the provisions in the bill that update the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) to allow for reimbursement of certain services provided by a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP).

    ACOEM represents more than 4,500 physicians and other health care professionals specializing in the field of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM). ACOEM members are knowledgeable and capable of treating job-related injuries and diseases, recognizing and resolving workplace hazards, instituting rehabilitation methods, and providing well-managed care.

    Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision and are an integral part of the occupational health team in the occupational medicine clinics. They work with the supervising physician to provide quality medical care to workers. While most private and public insurance plans recognize PAs and NPs as covered providers for purposes of reimbursement, FECA does not. Medical care provided by the PA or NP is not included in FECA’s definition of “medical, surgical, and hospital services and supplies,” and claims signed by a NP or PA are denied. Unnecessary restrictions on the ability of PAs and NPs to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases within the scope of their practice, as defined by state law, limits the ability of the occupational medicine clinic to provide access to care in a timely and efficient manner. Those instances where direct physician supervision may be necessary, such as a complex medical issue, can be addressed in the regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.

    Thank you for your consideration of our comments on H.R. 2465.

    Sincerely,

    T. Warner Hudson MD, FACOEM, FAAFP
    President
    American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine