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Collins Joins Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Seeking to Expand Health Care Access for Federal Workers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act.


The bipartisan bill would amend the Federal Employees Compensation Act to allow injured workers to receive treatment for work-related injuries from state-licensed physician associates/physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). Current law prohibits federal workers from being treated by PAs and NPs for worker compensation cases.  A companion bill was introduced in the House by Congressmen Tim Walberg (MI-05) and Joe Courtney (CT-02).


“In a large, rural state like Maine, finding access to health care close to home can be a challenge,” said Sen. Collins.  “Nurse practitioners and physician assistants help to fill in this gap by providing quality medical services to local communities.  By allowing injured federal workers to be treated by these professionals, our bipartisan bill would help prevent the need for long and difficult travel, reduce wait times for care, and improve employees’ overall health and wellbeing.”


“It is imperative that federal workers have access to health care regardless of the status of their workers’ compensation cases,” said Sen. Brown. “This legislation will allow federal workers in Ohio and across the country to receive necessary treatment from physician associates and nurse practitioners they trust in their communities while their claims are settled. By passing this legislation, we will ensure the dignity of work is honored for all federal workers.”


“The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), on behalf of the over 355,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) nationwide, would like to thank Senators Brown and Collins and Representatives Walberg and Courtney for introducing the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act,” said AANP President April N. Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FCCM, FAAN. “This legislation will improve both access to care and patient choice by allowing federal employees who are injured or become ill during their employment to select an NP to certify their workplace injury or illness, as well as oversee their care in the federal workers’ compensation program. Today, NPs are the provider of choice for millions of patients. This legislation will update the federal workers’ compensation program to better reflect delivery of care in our nation. AANP urges Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation to improve access to health care for federal employees.”

"On behalf of our country's more than 159,000 PAs, the American Academy of Physician Associates thanks Representatives Tim Walberg and Joe Courtney and Senators Sherrod Brown and Susan Collins for their dedication and commitment to improving healthcare access for federal employees. The Improving Access to Workers' Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act would expand access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare delivered by PAs and will ensure PAs are recognized under the Federal Employees' Compensation Program to diagnose medical conditions, certify injury and extent of disability, and oversee patient treatment and care. The current law excludes PAs from this program and creates an outdated, overly burdensome barrier that reduces access to care for approximately 2 million federal employees,"
said AAPA President and Chair of the Board Jennifer M. Orozco, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA.