Proposal would streamline access to home healthcare

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"In rural areas like central, southern, and eastern Oregon where physicians are scarce, these [non-physician] clinicians play an increasingly important role in the delivery of primary healthcare services," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), one of the bill's sponsors.

"Not only are they serving on the front lines of primary care, but also in many areas they are the only option readily available."

Walden and his fellow lead sponsor, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), said their bill would prevent a delay in receiving home health services for patients whose primary care provider is not a doctor.

The measure is supported by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the American College of Nurse Practitioners.