Monday, June 18, 2012

Modernizing Nurse Practitioner Regulations

It's been a busy last few months as the legislative agenda has heated up of the NP organization where I am the Chair-Elect. I have been to some fundraisers and legislative visits to try and garner support from lawmakers to sponsor and support the bill that will eliminate statutory collaboration between a physician and nurse practitioner in New York State. The bill is known as the NP Modernization Act.

We have been at this for about the last 5 years and up until now, there has not been much forward movement. While we had a sponsor for the bill and many co-sponsors, it was stuck in both the Senate and Assembly's Higher Education Committee (where all of the professions in NY state are regulated). The bill basically sat idle in these respective committees. We finally experienced a breakthrough after countless visits and grassroots efforts. The IOM Future of Nursing report absolutely helped make the case for increasing access to care as did the positive press that nurse practitioner partnered continues to receive. Some of the lawmakers were willing to act upon the bill albeit with some amended language.

Since then, the bill has been reported out of the Assembly's Higher Education Committee and should soon be on the floor for full Assembly vote. The same must also happen in the Senate and if it passes the Committee, will go to the Senate floor for a vote. We are staying positive that we will see movement in the Senate but this is one of the significant challenges right now. Oh, and the legislative session ends in 3 days. The bill must then be signed by the governor for to take effect. If it doesn't pass in this legislative session, the process starts all over next year since bills have a 2 year life cycle and this is the second year of the current bill. All is not lost however, since any legislative victories carry some momentum the next go-around.

Of course, there is opposition to the bill. Organized medicine largely does not support the bill and I'm sure that even some nurse practitioners aren't thrilled with it. But in the end, the NP Modernization Act in New York will allow enhanced access to care (while the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act hangs in the balance of the Supreme Court). And at the end of the day, this is what it is all about - giving patients the opportunity and allowing them to choose care that is delivered in partnership with a nurse practitioner.

On another note, I will be in Orlando Florida this week attending the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Annual Conference. You can follow updates from the conference on Twitter at #AANP12 plus I will be tweeting from @StephenNP.


hiremehealth said...

Nurse Practitioners often view the health and wellness of individuals within the family or community system..

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Nurse Jobs said...

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