Up to the minute news!!
While I am sitting here listening to our witnesses practice their testimony for today's hearing, I thought I should pass along this article that appeared today in the Galveston Daily News.
The hearing is not expected to take place until later today but if you are interested in watching, please go to http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/ and you will be able to watch streaming video if you have Real Player.
We have a great number of nurse practitioners representing TNP today. In fact, current Board members, led by Sandy McCoy, Stan Harmon, Mike Hazel and Lara Boyett are already here talking to legislators and planning to testify during the hearing. I also expect many others to arrive later today.
I will send a report as soon as something happens.
House bill needed for better health care access
By Rosie Morales <http://galvestondailynews.com/contact/news>
Special to The Daily News
Published April 20, 2011
As a health care provider in Texas and local resident, I am concerned about the accessibility of health care in our state. As a clinician with more than 16 years in the private, state and federal sector, I have seen the difficulties that our patients have with trying to obtain an appointment with a provider.
Texas, like many states in our nation, is facing challenges to provide timely, quality and cost-effective care. In part, access and timely care is restricted because practice laws are outdated and do not reflect the realities of today’s health provider workforce.
During this legislative session, Texas has the opportunity to fix some of these issues. Currently, advanced practice nurses in Texas are authorized to write prescriptions.
Three bills in the House — HB 708, 915 and 1266 — address the issues of nurse practitioners writing prescriptions. These bills would increase transparency and accountability of nurse practitioners prescribing in Texas and decrease ineffective requirements that do not improve safety and improve access in all areas of our state — especially rural and underserved communities.
Nurse practitioners have been providing high quality, safe care for nearly half a century. Nurse practitioners evaluate patients’ health needs and conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments and prescribe medications.
Eight of our western-rural state neighbors already have practice laws like Texas is considering, and nearly a dozen more states are considering similar regulation changes this year.
Safety and quality has been demonstrated in more than 100 studies that span more than 40 years. As a result of this safety track record, the Institute of Medicine recommended that states make this update to state practice laws in a report published late last year.
The facts are in and the action is clear — Texas patients need access to better health, and nurse practitioners can safely provide this access. It seems to me that our Legislature has a clear option — modernize our state practice regulations and start using qualified nurse practitioners to their fullest potential to meet our state’s access and care needs.
I am urging the Legislature to pass HB 708, 915 and 1266. I also ask that all people who receive their care from a nurse practitioner to call on your state legislators, and share your support to update regulations.
The House Public Health Committee is in the process of hearing bills and yet these particular bills are not on the schedule. In particular, please call Chairwoman Lois Kolkhorst’s office, , and request that she set a hearing for the advanced practice registered nursing prescriptive authority bills, HB 708, HB 915 and HB 1266 today.
Rosie Morales is a Ph.D. nurse practitioner in Santa Fe.
David H. Williams