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Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants focus on scope of practice, cost-shifting in 2024

Doctor in a white dress shirt with a bow tie in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around their neck.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Among other things, the chamber wants the General Assembly to consider expanding scope of practice for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and physician assistants.

Business leaders hope lawmakers will address health issues they say are burdening businesses in the state. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce presented its health priorities at a recent legislative preview.

Among other things, the chamber wants the General Assembly to consider expanding scope of practice for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and physician assistants.

Ashton Eller is the vice president of health care policy and employment law for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He said reforming scope of practice laws can improve health care access, especially for low-income families in rural areas.

“Examining and reforming these statutes would allow health care workers to provide all the services they are trained to provide without additional oversight and in some cases is costly and a hindrance to health care providers entering certain areas,” Eller said.

READ MORE: Nurse practitioners say limits on practice lead to higher health care costs, less access

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Eller also said the chamber wants lawmakers to increase Medicaid reimbursements to address cost-shifting to commercial insurance. He said cost-shifting occurs when commercially insured patients are charged more than Medicaid patients for the same services to make up for “shortfalls” of low Medicaid reimbursements.

“This is because public programs pay providers significantly lower than commercial health plans,” Eller said. “Increasing the reimbursement rates would help correct this cost shift and stabilize employer-sponsored plans.”

Eller said the chamber is also advocating for a $2 increase to the cigarette tax to limit the number of Hoosiers that smoke. He said a cigarette tax could also offset the costs of raising Medicaid reimbursements.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.