This June, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 conference was held in Denver, CO. The conference provided some valuable insights and thought-provoking presentations for NPs and the healthcare industry. So, what were some of the most important topics presented this year?
AANP 2018 Conference Highlights: Scope of Practice Laws, Hypnotherapy, and the Importance of NPs
Scope of Practice (SOP) Laws: Reform Could Help Control Healthcare Costs in the US
As the population continues to age, there is a pressing need for primary care providers. A recent Brookings Institute report discussed how reforming SOP laws pertaining to Physician Assistants (PA) and NPs could improve access and cut healthcare costs without decreasing the quality of care. There is evidence that healthcare costs are lower in states where NPs are able to work independently. For example, the price of a well-care visit for a child can range anywhere from 3 percent to 16 percent less in states where NPs work independently. By reforming SOP laws, and allowing more NPs to practice independently, healthcare costs in the U.S. could be greatly reduced.
Use of Hypnotherapy in Healthcare
Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis which aims to create a trance-like state of focus. The practice is used to help patients deal with a range of health-related issues from anxiety to teeth grinding. In the last few years, there has been extensive research into the uses of hypnotherapy, especially in cancer treatment and the management of chronic pain.
For cancer patients, the use of hypnotherapy has been shown to reduce the side effects and stress that patients experience while going through treatment. Moreover, hypnotherapy is showing promise in replacing opioids as a way to treat chronic pain, which would help combat the opioid epidemic.
The Importance of NPs in Healthcare: The AANP National Campaign
Following this year’s conference, the AANP launched the “We Choose NPs” campaign. The primary message of the AANP campaign is to inform the public they should consider NPs as primary care providers. The focus of the campaign promotes the idea that, while NPs aren’t credentialed physicians, they can handle the needs of most patients. Also, the greater accessibility of NPs over physicians is highlighted.
While the AANP has conducted other media campaigns in the past, David Herbert, the CEO of AANP, stated the goal of this campaign was to “remind people about the importance of looking at nurse practitioners as one of their primary care options.” These AANP ads will air on cable news channels and during shows such as Ellen, Good Morning America, and Today.
This year’s AANP conference provided key insights and information for the NP community. Many interesting topics were presented, such as SOP law reform, hypnotherapy, and the importance of NPs in the healthcare industry. If you are planning for next year, the AANP conference will run from June 18 to the 23 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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