FTC to Pennsylvania: Pass NP Reform
Friday, January 5, 2018
Posted by: Katie Maher
FTC to Pennsylvania: Pass NP Reform
The Federal Trade Commission Says HB100 Would Improve Access to Health Care, Contain Costs and Expand Innovation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harrisburg, PA (Jan. 4) – The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday issued a letter encouraging lawmakers to pass House Bill 100, which would modernize Pennsylvania’s nurse practitioner law.
The letter argues:
“Absent countervailing safety concerns regarding APRN-CNP practice (of which we are unaware), removing existing supervision requirements to permit independent APRN-CNP prescribing and practice has the potential to benefit Pennsylvania consumers by increasing competition among health care providers, which likely would improve access to care, contain costs, and expand innovation in health care delivery.”
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners welcomed the letter, which reiterates the findings of the National Academy of Medicine and many other nonpartisan organizations.
“State law should work for our patients, not against them. As this letter makes clear, House Bill 100 will help improve health care quality, increase access and lower costs,” said PCNP President Adele Caruso.
The FTC letter cites a report by Pennsylvania’s Joint State Government Commission, which predicted a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians by 2020:
“If certified registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants are fully utilized, their rapidly growing numbers could reduce the physician shortage in 2020 to 6,400 FTE physicians. However, this reduction assumes a reorganization of the primary care delivery model in which certified registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants deliver a greater proportion of the services than they do within the current care delivery model.”
The full Federal Trade Commission letter can be found here.
House Bill 100, companion to Senate Bill 25, enjoys bipartisan support from nearly every health care stakeholder. AARP Pennsylvania, the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, the Pa. Rural Health Association, and many other organizations have endorsed reform.
About Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners (NPs), also called Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs) or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs), have graduate, advanced education, with master’s degrees or doctorates and are nationally certified in their specialty areas. Among their many services NPs order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests; diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries; prescribe medications and other treatments; and manage a patient’s care. Over 100 studies have proven that NPs provide safe, high-quality health care.
Currently, in order to practice, a nurse practitioner must secure business contracts called collaborative agreements with two physicians. Researchers – including physicians and nurse practitioners alike – have proven that this mandate offers no patient health benefits. To the contrary, research shows that the mandate restricts access to care and correlates with worse patient health outcomes.
Full practice authority legislation would end this costly, arbitrary and outdated mandate and make Pennsylvania a full practice authority state. Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia are already using full practice authority to expand access to care, especially for underserved rural areas and patients with Medicaid insurance.
About the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners
PCNP is the state organization that promotes and protects the practice of over 10,000 Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs) in Pennsylvania and whose mission is to improve access to care. Formed in the 1980s by three forward-thinking NPs, PCNP now has 18 regional groups across the Commonwealth.