Professor Makes Reform Suggestions at White House Health Care Meeting

July 22, 2009

image of Mona Counts

Dr. Mona Counts, Elouise Ross Eberly Professor in the School of Nursing, visited the White House on Thursday, July 2, to participate in a health care discussion with Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, and Dr. Kavita Patel, a member of the Office of Public Engagement. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss solutions to problems plaguing primary care. Counts was part of the nurse practitioner contingent, along with high-ranking members of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and representatives from medicine, dentistry, and psychology.

Counts noted that current barriers limit the types of care nurse practitioners can provide. Nurse practitioners’  scope of practices allows them to provide all of the primary care services; however, several insurance companies still do not reimburse for nurse practitioner services. These barriers, Counts said, hinder the possibility of capitalizing on the country’s entire population of licensed health care professionals, including 126,000 nurse practitioners. She suggested at the meeting that “anyone who is trained to deliver health care should be utilized to their full capability.”

Counts said that it was “very exciting” to attend such an important meeting at the White House. She added that President Obama deserves credit for “putting together a team of health care professionals that is making a huge effort to address issues affecting healthcare.”

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.