Publish Date: February 4, 2014
New York’s RNFA reimbursement bill efforts are being led by New York State Senator Betty Little, with a companion bill sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Lavine. Senate bill 3056-A would require private payers in New York to provide reimbursement for registered nurse first assistants certified in operating room nursing for surgical first assistant services if the insurance policy otherwise provides reimbursement for surgical first assistant services. Both the Senate bill and its companion Assembly bill 2753-A are awaiting action in their respective insurance committees.
AORN members Marlene Craden and Pat Gussey have been working tirelessly to keep these RNFA bills on the insurance committees’ agendas and to garner support in the Assembly Ways and Means committee, which is where the initiative stalled in the last legislative session. If the bill passes, New York would join 16 other states that currently require reimbursement parity for RNFAs: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.In addition to support from AORN members, the RNFA reimbursement initiative has received support from the New York State Future of Nursing Action Coalition, a non-partisan entity designated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to take a state leadership role in implementing the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. On May 21, 2012 the Action Coalition wrote a letter to Assemblyman Lavine identifying the lack of reimbursement for RNFA services as a barrier to practice which is inconsistent with the goals and recommendations in the IOM report. New York members ready to support this initiative should contact Amy Hader in AORN’s government affairs department.