Session. Scope. Repeat.
This year’s six scope bills were offered allowing for the practice of medicine by advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists.
The nurses offered two pieces of legislation this year:
- SB 175 by Sen. Regina Barrow would have allowed independent practice of nurse practitioners after fewer than 6 months under a collaborative practice agreement. - HB 543 by Rep. Joe Stagni would have allowed independent practice of nurse practitioners after less than a year under a collaborative practice agreement. It created a new category of collaborator s called a “consulting practitioner” which would have included other nurse practitioners. The bill further included language granting “global signature authority” to nurses.
Neither bill was moved.
The physician assistants brought one bill, SB 158, authored by Sen. Jay Luneau which sought to: - Eliminate direction, control and supervision by a physician - Replace clinical practice guidelines with a collaborative practice agreement establishing a scope rather than allowing for physician delegation - Eliminate physician inform ed concurrence of the physician assistant’s actions - Remove all required physician engagement during a declared state of emergency - Allow physician assistants to be employed by an “other health care organization or entity.” SB 158 did receive a hearing in Senate Health and Welfare and was reported favorably. It was returned to the calendar on the Senate floor. However, the author was very adamant that he would be back next year if we don’t all work together to find a solution to the scope battles. The biggest scope challenges this year actually came from the pharmacists who proposed 3 aggressive bills aimed at moving pharmacists directly into the field of medicine. The first of the 3 bills was authored by Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chair Fred Mills. SB 329 would have: - Allowed a pharmacist to render any patient care services approved by a protocol development committee housed under the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy - Allowed a pharmacist to order, administer and interpret laboratory tests
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