On Tuesday and Wednesday, members of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA) will visit legislators at the Capitol to advocate for a bill that loosens restrictions on modern medicine.
The bill (HB 607) would remove unnecessary administrative burdens for physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) to make it easier for patients to access the care they need, where and when they need it. The legislation was introduced by Representative Cary Pigman.
Due to an influx in population and insured patients, Florida is currently faced with problems meeting the demand for health care providers — especially those in underserved populations and the aging community. More than 10,000 licensed, highly educated, and skilled PAs stand ready to answer the call but are restricted by unnecessary and outdated practice barriers. Pigman’s measure would remove unnecessary barriers, allowing APRNs to practice to the full extent of their education and training. Proponents argue that this legislation would drastically decrease waiting times and make health care more affordable.
Cutting red tape and making health care more affordable remains a primary focus of House Speaker José Oliva, who enters his final legislative session. A top priority since assuming office, Oliva will look to leave a legacy predicated on removing obstacles and lowering health care costs for all Floridians.
“Allowing Advanced Nurse Practitioners to practice independently will have an immediate positive effect on access and affordability…It is high-time we allow healthcare professionals to practice to the extent of their training.” @RepJoseOliva #OpeningDay remarks #FLSession2020
— FL GOP Majority (@FLGOPMajority) January 14, 2020
Only 20 states in the U.S. still have restrictions on APRNs. Meanwhile, APRNs are able to practice without state-mandated restrictions in the Veterans Health Administration, Indian Health Services and the United States Military.
HB 607, which passed the House Quality Subcommittee as a committee substitute by a vote of 14 yeas and 1 nay, has also been referred to the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Health & Human Services Committee.