NCAPA sends letter to STOP Act bill sponsors

2017-04-19 | April 19, 2017

This morning, NCAPA submitted a letter to the bill sponsors of HB 243 & SB 175, the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act. This letter expressed concerns with Section 4 of the bill, and that it could cause an undue burden on the patients PAs serve.

In part, the letter states:

"PAs believe in the collaborative practice model, and we value our relationships with our supervising physicians. The settings that PAs practice in vary from clinic to clinic, and from community to community. In North Carolina, current regulations require PAs to prescribe within federal DEA rules, and PAs cannot prescribe more than a 30 day supply for Schedules II, II-N, III, and III-N controlled substances. Additionally, the existing supervisory agreement between a PA and supervising physician must include written instructions for prescribing, ordering, and administering drugs, as well as a policy for periodic review of the instructions by the physician. PAs and supervising physicians must meet monthly for six months each time a new practice arrangement is established, and then at least once every six months thereafter.

Section 4 of the latest version of HB 243 would require a PA to “personally consult” with their supervising physician prior to writing each 30 day prescription, and again every 90 days thereafter. Due to the current state regulations already in place, we believe that adding additional regulations to the PA-supervising physician relationship could cause confusion and could hinder patient care. We are concerned that there are circumstances, particularly in smaller and/or rural clinics, where the PA who was seeing a patient that needed a 30-day prescription, would not be able to prescribe the proper medication in timely manner if the PA’s supervising physician was not immediately available for the personal consult. As providers, we are concerned that this legislation will cause unnecessary delays in and/or reduce access to care, which could potentially lead to patients looking for an illegal substitute to ease their chronic pain. Therefore, we suggest removing Section 4 in its current form."

NCAPA looks forward to continuing to work with the bill sponsors and the rest of the legislature in order to work on a new solution together, which would contribute to our collective goal of keeping our fellow neighbors alive and healthy.

The bill is currently in the Senate Rules committee. Check back for additional updates and action in the coming weeks.

Bills

  1. H243: Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP)Act.