An Onslaught of Bad Scope Bills. Stop Them!
"If you want to practice medicine, go to medical school."
I am a physician who lives in your district. I am writing to express my strong opposition to two bills that would allow nonphysicians to engage in the practice of medicine. Such a change would not expand access to health care; it would increase the cost of health care, and it would not be safe for the people of Texas.
Please do not support House Bill 1415 by Klick/Senate Bill 681 by Hancock, which would grant advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) full, independent practice and prescribing authority.
I oppose independent practice for APRNs without collaboration with a physician. To protect patient safety, diagnoses and prescriptive authority must remain the purview of medicine.
Expanding APRNs’ scope of practice will not increase access to care in rural Texas. In states that do and do not allow APRNs independent practice, the vast majority of them practice exactly where most physicians practice — in the metropolitan areas.
Expanding APRNs’ scope of practice will increase the cost of care. Research comparing APRNs with physicians found a 41-percent increase in hospitalizations and a 25-percent increase in specialty visits among patients treated in the same setting by APRNs.
Please compare the number of patient-care hours required in training. Physicians like me receive 12,000 to 16,000 hours of training through medical school and residency. APRNs, however, have just 500 to 720 hours of patient-care hours in their training.
Physicians and nurses worked together in 2013 to devise a landmark state law that improved collaboration and supervision. I support improvements to the collaboration process and exploring ways to improve access to care, especially in underserved areas.
Physicians strongly support team-based care, but if you want to practice medicine, go to medical school. Thank you for your consideration.
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