AANP Addresses COVID-19's Impact on Minority Communities

April 21st 2020

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) recently called for policymakers and health systems to take action to address the impact the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is having on minority communities.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) recently called for policymakers and health systems to take action to address the impact the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is having on minority communities.

According to new data reported by the CDC, African Americans with COVID-19 are more frequently hospitalized and dying at higher rates. In addition, data from New York City found Hispanics had the highest rate of deaths from COVID-19, according to an AANP press release.

"Sadly, the health disparities making the news today aren't new or specific to COVID-19. NPs have been advocating for decades for changes to help individuals and communities facing added health challenges due to systemic issues with economic insecurity, lack of health care access and the marginalization of minority and underrepresented populations,” AANP president Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP, FNAP, FAANP, said in a press release. “NPs see every day the impact that health disparities have on our patients. By adopting our recommendations, we can save lives and dramatically reduce the incidence of chronic conditions."

The AANP calls on federal and state policymakers to expand health care access across America’s Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) by temporarily lifting regulatory barriers in all 50 states and allowing nurse practitioners (NPs) to work to the fullest. Additionally, states without full practice authority should permanently remove barriers so that NPs can meet the needs of patients living in HPSAs, according to the statement.

Further, the AANP urges policymakers to provide coverage for services that address underlying health conditions, including nutrition, mental health care, and safe options for physical activity. The organization emphasized how chronic disease makes COVID-19 patients more susceptible to the worst impacts of the virus, making it important to address the root causes of these conditions.

Lastly, the AANP is hoping to establish an Administration task force to coordinate the country’s response to health disparities and ensure accurate, transparent reporting of COVID-19 socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic demographic data at the national and state levels. "The time for waiting is over. We need immediate solutions to the disparities ravaging the health of at-risk populations," said Thomas in a press release.

REFERENCE

AANP calls for urgent action to combat COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on minorities, poor outcomes linked to health disparities [news release]. Austin, Texas; PR Newswire: April 20, 2020.https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aanp-calls-for-urgent-action-to-combat-covid-19s-disproportionate-impact-on-minorities-poor-outcomes-linked-to-health-disparities-301043294.html. Accessed April 21, 2020.

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