Leonard Gelman, M.D., CMD, President, AMDA-The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

Q: What motivated the recent decision to extend AMDA membership to nurse practitioners?

A: The last set of stats that I saw, about 25% of visits in nursing homes are done by nurse practitioners. This trend has been increasing over the last four to six years. We understand that in certain parts of the country, physicians might not be readily available. My take is it doesn’t really matter who does the work, as long as someone qualified is providing the services.

Q: Do you see nurse practitioners’ role continuing to grow?

A: There will always be a place for physicians as medical directors. I don’t see it ever getting to the point where the overwhelming majority of nursing home visits will be NPs.

Q: You just became the society’s president. What is the biggest challenge facing members?

A: The biggest issue is quality: How we define it and who defines it. AMDA is working on quality measures. It’s great to have MDS and NQF measures, but none really applies directly to the nursing home. Things like how many flu shots did they give, pneumonia vaccinations, those are all right, but is that really quality? My goal is to make sure our voice gets heard.