Welcome to Fall! Your NPAA Executive is happy to provide you with this update!
As we are all getting back to routine with work, family and activities, the NPAA Board is also ramping up for a busy year. Since July, your executive has met with Premier Danielle Smith, Minister Adriana LaGrange as well as many other government officials and we remain hopeful that 2023/2024 will bring some good news for Albertans and NPs.
As you will recall in April at the AGM, we shared with you that the executive had been meeting with the previous Health Minister to secure a direct reimbursement model for NPs in primary care. Despite having provided him with evidence and multiple letters and communication of support, Jason Copping (previous Minister) refused to do the right thing resulting in over 1 million Albertans without a primary care provider and all of you continuing to be grossly underpaid and restricted in your roles.
With the new government, we are now feeling as though there is renewed hope. Premier Smith has directed Minister LaGrange to address the primary care crisis and to ensure that NPs are utilized appropriately. As such, the executive has presented Minister LaGrange and Mr. Paul Smith (Assistant Deputy Minister) with a strong proposal; a reimbursement model that will allow NPs to practice completely independently in primary care and receive excellent compensation directly from government. We will accept nothing less.
Your board is committed to continued advocacy for NPs and Albertans. We also continue to work to advance continuing education, and to plan for the future of NPs in Alberta. Please find further updates below.
As mentioned above, your executive presented a direct reimbursement model to Premier Smith, Minister LaGrange and Alberta Health that will allow NPs to carry a panel independently and to receive compensation directly from government. The compensation will be a salary that is based on panel complexity and size. An overhead component was also requested.
This model will allow NPs to work as a business owner or join another practice (with some incentives to establish NP practices). Using fair market value as the baseline, the salary for an average 900 patient panel (give or take based on complexity) has been requested at over $300,000 annually plus an overhead component for support of clinic management.
College or Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA)
We continue to meet with our NP representative for CRNA monthly. The NPAA has put forward a request for information about NPAA membership to be provided to NP registrants and we continue to work with AAN and AUNP related to membership costing.
Tracking Prescribing Program (TPP)
A NP representative is on this committee with the next meeting scheduled for October.
Alberta Association of Nurses (AAN)
The NPAA president is meeting with the Kathy Howe of the AAN in October to further discuss nursing advocacy efforts.
Primary Care Alliance (PCA)
As mentioned at the AGM in April, the NPAA is now a member of the PCA. Several meetings occurred over the spring and summer whereby strategic planning occurred. As well, member organizations contributed to development of a joint statement on primary care that was presented to Minister LaGrange after announcement to her position. This statement demonstrated a commitment from the major primary care associations/colleges to work with government to ensure that all Albertans have access to a primary care provider (and yes, this was the title used!).
Albert Union Nurse Practitioners (AUNP)
As many of you know, the AUNP continues to negotiate for NPs employed by AHS; hopefully good news is also in the future for this group of NPs.
Debt ownership was assigned to the AUNP in February of 2022. Repayment to NPAA will begin once a contract has been negotiated with AHS.
Provincial Nurse Practitioner Advisory Council (PNAC)
The NPAA executive continues to be part of PNAC and meet monthly. Because of negotiations for NPs within AHS and the NPAAs advocacy work specific to primary care, efforts have been focused on continuing the momentum on these huge projects.
The Director Rural/Remote continues to be in regular contact with member communities of RhPAP. As you may recall from the AGM, several communities have voted and passed ‘resolutions’ which have been presented to government requesting NP integration and direct reimbursement for the benefit of rural Albertans. Rural primary care continues to be front of mind when negotiating with government and your executive have provided potential solutions that are specific to rural communities.
If there are NPs that are interested in working autonomously in rural areas of Alberta outside of the PCN, the NPAA executive would be interested in hearing from you. Please contact email@example.com
Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada (NPAC)
Meetings continue to occur monthly and there is great sharing and collaborative planning across the country specific to NP integration, autonomous practice, equitable reimbursement and addressing the primary care crisis.
NPAC continues to work on issues with insurance companies from a national standpoint. For NPs that are experiencing issues with insurance reimbursement for patients, please forward your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there are any NPs struggling with the billing system, please notify us by emailing email@example.com.
The Director for Education continues to organize education opportunities both in person and virtually. We aim to offer one opportunity monthly at minimum and locations will change depending upon the sponsor and speaker. As opportunities are planned, NP members will receive an email invitation, but info will also be posted on the website member page. Please check regularly for updates!
The NPAA continues to voluntarily work hard for NPs and Albertans. We are in a time of great transition. All components of this update are moving parts in the picture of the NP profession in Alberta. I welcome questions and feedback from any NP within our province and encourage you to become involved as participants in our profession’s future.
Have a wonderful Fall,
Susan, Karen and Jennifer
NPAA President, Vice President and Director Rural/Remote