Update on proposed independent practice for APRNs & PAs
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Posted by: Fraser Cobbe, DCMS Chief Executive Officer
Scope of Practice for APRNs and PAs: (HB 607 by Pigman and SB 1676 by Albritton)
A Legislative Update from Fraser Cobbe, DCMS Chief Executive Officer
The DCMS would like to thank all of our members that were able to reach out to members of the Senate concerning the Independent Practice Amendment that was proposed for Senate Bill 1676 by Senator Albritton. Unfortunately, the amendment was added to the bill and the amended bill did pass out of the Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee this week.
This is a significant development as this is the first time the Senate has moved any language related to independent practice for APRNs. The bills are very different at this point which sets up behind the scenes negotiations between the leadership in both chambers. Both bills have hearings next week in their final Committees in either chamber. The Senate Bill is a lot more limited than the House Bill. The Senate Bill currently does not include PAs, limits independent practice to primary care in underserved areas, and primary care will be defined by the Board of Medicine and overseen by a Council that includes 3 MDs, 3 DOs, and 3 APRNs. The bill does not allow insurance carriers to force patients to see APRNs and requires physician supervision in hospitals and nursing homes. The House Bill is a very broad independent practice for APRNs and PAs without many limitations.
The next week will be revealing to see if the Senate bill continues to move toward the House Bill. We remain concerned with establishing a lower standard of care in underserved communities, with the potential for increased overall health care costs due to more frequent referrals, admissions, and use of imaging and ancillary services by APRNs and PAs, and the ability of facilities and insurers to utilize independence to reduce patient access to physicians.
Our organization will be focused on communicating our concerns with the proposed legislation with members of the Senate. Please look for additional Calls to Action to be released over the coming days.