On Feb. 2, 2019, NNPEN hosted a half-day conference in Columbia, MD, titled Innovative Business Models for NP Practice: Do It Your Way! as an introduction to CareSpan, a digital healthcare platform, and AAPN, a CareSpan-aligned NP Group Practice Without Walls (GPWW). AAPN is the first NP-owned professional LLC to aggregate NP practices and negotiate NP managed care contracts as a single taxpayer identification number (TIN).

AAPN, the NP-owned PLLC, is the logical product of familiar forces converging in our healthcare marketplace:

  • No primary care physician supply in face of growing healthcare demand;
  • High NP primary care supply;
  • Full confidence that, because of underlying nursing process, quality and cost outcome measurement will reward NP PCP practices for the value they create;
  • Value aggregators like AAPN are how NPs negotiate value-based payment terms with 800 lb. payers

The Feb. 2 room was filled—nearly 80 registrants, wow! That tells us NP entrepreneurs are still looking for an ownership model that works for them. CareSpan’s Integrated Network, including AAPN, may be that model. It offers indie NPs access to a basket of business support services, including access to better managed care contracts because AAPN aggregates NP practices under a single TIN to create negotiation leverage.

From our Feb. 2 speakers JoEllen Koerner (CareSpan CNO) and Kate Fiandt (AAPN CEO), I enclose a link to AAPN, which outlines what the next steps would be to evaluate your practice future as part of AAPN. This assessment has value whether you go forward with AAPN or not. Right now, AAPN is focused on attracting established NP practices with established revenues—so that there is cash flow ballast to enable onboarding newbie practices without developed revenues.

A point made by many of our speakers is that AAPN is not for everyone. (For example, if you do not foresee virtual practice as part of your business plan, this practice model may not be for you.)
But this much is true: Some NP practice aggregator alignment will be in your future; that’s how NPs will create contract leverage. AAPN/CSIN is the first (but not the last) NP-focused aggregator for you to consider. For their foresight, we applaud them. NNPEN’s role here (we think) is to encourage the growth of additional aggregator options for you and be right there with you to evaluate the fit as you consider this question: What’s Ahead For My Practice?

Are we on the right track? Say it by joining us at www.NNPEN.org.

SB