Georgia Senate Committee cuts down APRN bill, expands reach of physicians.

Bill gets slimmed down

Georgia’s Senate Committee on Health and Human Services slimmed down Bill 351 before passing it to be debated on the Senate floor. The bill in its original form would have allowed APRNs to prescribe medications, order MRIs, and order CTs without the oversite of a physician. This move was an effort to close the gap in rural communities that do not currently have any physicians. The version that passed the Senate Committee however expanded physicians’ ability to oversee midlevel providers.

Physician receives greater role

The need for more healthcare in rural communities is the impetus for Bill 351. Currently there are 6 counties in Georgia without a physician, and 22 with no APRNs. As the law stands today APRNs can prescribe medications on the DEA schedules III-V only with the oversite of physicians. Also, physicians are only allowed to oversee four midlevel providers Bill 351 looked change that. Its original goal was to expand the prescribing roll of APRNs. Giving them the opportunity to prescribe medications without an overseeing physician. However, after debating during hearings a compromised was reached. That compromise expanded the scope of providers to oversee midlevels from the previous four, to eight.

What now?

Bill 351 is an effort to bring healthcare to the rural areas of Georgia. However, it does have a way to go before it becomes a law. If this law will pass the floor of the Georgia General Assembly and how it will it affect access to care in our rural communities is still unknown. However, be assured that Strategic Healthcare Partners is following this story, and will update you as this story progresses.

 

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Source: Georgia Health News “Bill to allow nurses expanded powers gets watered down” by Andy Miller – Posted February 20th, 2018 http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2018/02/bill-nurses-expanded-powers-watered/