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Advocacy Update

Thursday, August 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
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To the Membership of MANA,
 
The Massachusetts legislative session ended with a thud for the Massachusetts Association of Nurse Anesthetists. High hopes were dashed when the House and the Senate failed to reach a compromise on the Omnibus healthcare bill. The two main points of contention between the two branches were a battle over how to bring assistance to the Massachusetts Community Hospitals and how the legislature would handle these so-called scope of practice issues for a number of medical providers, Including but not limited to nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, dental therapists, podiatrists, optometrists and CRNAs. Though many in the legislature are aware that our issue is not a scope issue, but rather a removal of restriction issue, we were still lumped into that specific category. Debate between the branches, in the form of their representative conference committees, was very contentious at times and they continued to pass proposals back-and-forth up until the 11th hour but when it finally came down to it there was no resolution on the two main issues that I have cited. The Senate’s proposal was to include many or all of the categories in language which would have allowed each of the disciplines to practice to their full capacity. The House’s proposal was to have each of the disciplines pass before a review process which would have ended up with the health policy commission making a final recommendation as to whether each category would be allowed to practice to their full capacity. Extensive lobbying was performed on your behalf by both the McGlynn and McGlynn team and many officers and members of MANA. Unfortunately we were caught in the battle over how best to assist the community hospitals.

The formal sessions of the Massachusetts legislature ended on July 31. Therefore it does not appear that the omnibus healthcare bill will be dealt with in informal sessions which will last until December 31st of this year. Although our individual bills are still alive, any attempt to deal with them in an informal legislative session can be stopped by one member of either branch making an objection and therefore action does not seem to be likely. The legislature chose to deal with each one of these issues in the omnibus healthcare bill and not as individual cases. Therefore all of these professions selective bills were not acted upon. This obviously hurt one and all of the professions trying to obtain the ability to practice to the full capacity of their profession.


In the coming months our office will regroup with MANA’s executive committee, the legislative sponsors of our bills, and the members of the House and Senate healthcare finance committee as well as the leadership of both branches in the Massachusetts legislature. The one drawback that we face is that all members are up for reelection and many others have chosen not to seek reelection. So there will be many changes in the legislature and with those changes comes changes in committee assignments and leadership positions. We will regroup as far as our legislative request and we will also consider thinking outside of the box as to whether there is another way to deal with attaining this elusive goal. 


Last but not least both Beth and I want to thank the leadership of MANA for their dogged support and unyielding pursuit of their goals. Your President, Melissa Croad, CRNA, couldn’t have been better in her position of leadership. We never knew if we were going to get a call from her at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night or 6 o’clock on a Tuesday morning and rest assured  there were many emails that came all hours of the days and nights. She never stopped and for this MANA should be grateful.
 
Jack McGlynn and Beth Mullen
McGlynn and McGlynn
MANA Lobbyist Team

 

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2019 Region One in the Sun

Massachusetts Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Inc.

4 Lan Drive

Westford, MA 01886

Phone: 978 250-9847 | Fax: 978 250-1117

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