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Ask Phee Phee Anything: Things a CNS Should Care About: ICAN Legislation

Hi readers, and welcome to the October edition of Ask Phee Phee. This month, I wanted to talk about a topic that I am passionate about, which directly goes with my presidency’s theme: unstoppable advocacy. As stated on the ANA website, “the Improving Care and Access to Nurses Act (ICAN), H.R. 8812, promotes patient access to health care services delivered by the provider of their choice by removing outdated Medicare and Medicaid barriers on advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).” Because the ICAN Act was recently released, some of you may have a lot of questions. I want to answer those questions and explain why the ICAN Act is so important for CNSs. 

1. Why is the ICAN Act important to all CNSs?

This is a great example of how CNSs can advocate for themselves. This legislation is geared toward advanced practice nurses (APRNs) and takes away a lot of the limitations APRNS have previously faced. This act ensures that APRNS get fair payment and get the proper reimbursement for what they need for their patients. ICAN advances the advanced practice domain for all APRNs, but specifically CNSs. This act goes directly with the APP Hospice CTI Survey that was created in April 2022. This survey is not yet public, but it directly correlates with hospice end-of-life services and CNSs access to the proper care tools. This survey had large participation from CNSs, which further shows how important the ICAN Act is for all CNSs.

2. What are some good ICAN Act resources?

Some of the best resources can be found on the NACNS website as the legislation continues to move forward. To write to your legislator, follow this link on the NACNS website. This legislation is everywhere, you can find more information with a simple google search, or on the ANA website. Check out the NACNS news page for more updates as they come!

3. What can CNSs do today to help pass ICAN?

The most important step is to contact your legislator using the link above. The next most important action to take is to add your voice on social media with the ICAN photo as I did here. Pass along this photo to your fellow nurses and tell them to join the conversation. The most important part of this legislation is to keep the conversation going until it is approved. Never stop advocating!

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