Press Release: Florida Panhandle Nurse Practitioner Coalition
Florida Panhandle Nurse Practitice Coalition
Joins with CAP-PAC in the upcoming Rally.
Please see press release below.
March 2010 Press Release
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) are planning a "Rally in Tally" on March 24, 2010 at Waller Park on the Capitol grounds. The rally was organized by several nurse practitioner groups to bring attention to a decades-old struggle to get authorization for ARNPs to prescribe controlled medications. 48 of the 50 states and Washington, DC already grant this authority. Only Alabama and Florida do not. ARNPs and many others, including many physicians, think it is past time to change the law. Florida patients suffer due to blocked access to care.
ARNPs are available to immediately meet the needs of Floridians and expand the health care delivery capability of the state. Allowing ARNPs to prescribe controlled medications will actually save money for the state and the Florida public.
Two separate studies conducted by the Florida state legislature recommend that Florida allow ARNPs to prescribe controlled medications to increase access to health care. A recent Macy Foundation study reports that ARNPS are cost effective competent providers of care. One of the panel members of that study is FSU’s John Fogarty MD.
Health care in Florida is at the breaking point. Two out of five Floridians have inadequate access to basic health care. Twenty-four percent of Floridians are uninsured, and eight million Floridians are medically disenfranchised; the federal Department of Health and Human Services identifies every county in Florida as medically underserved. Several rural counties have been designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) – fewer than 2.86 primary care physicians per 10,000 population.
Several organizations have decided to join ARNPs efforts. These include; The Florida League of Women Voters, AARP, Florida CHAIN, Hispanic Health Initiatives and others.
ARNPs are providers of primary care. ARNPs are nationally certified to provide health care in a broad range of areas including: anesthesia care, maternity care, psychiatric care, adult care, pediatric care and family practice. There are now more than 13,000 ARNPs practicing in Florida.
For more information please contact:
Vice Chairman of Public Relations CAP PAC
Dr. Brummel-Smith said, "Think of what’s best for patients… FMA ought to be expending its resources on educating physicians to be better prescribers, rather than this unwise approach of trying to limit appropriate access to prescribing by nurse practitioners… Giving prescriptive authority to nurse practitioners will improve patient’s access to needed care and should be approved"
Ying Mai kung, a nurse practitioner from Tallahassee said, "Florida needs to provide its citizens more, not less access to health care. Every nurse practitioner is educated to prescribe these medications to their patients, every nurse practitioner passes a national certification exam to prescribe these medications. But in Florida, the law hasn’t caught up with the times."
Beverly Douglas, a nurse practitioner from Sun City Center, Florida said, "My practice is with Hospice. So many of my patients suffer from terminal illness pain and I need to be able to treat that pain. Because of the silly laws in this state, my patients have to suffer while I try to find a physician to sign the prescription. I could do it myself, and have in other states where I have worked, but in Florida my hands are tied. I feel bad for the cancer patients who I have to look in the eye and tell that I am not able to help them because the law won’t let me do my job."
Jeff Hazzard, nurse practitioner from Bartow, Florida said, "Access to care is being denied, patients are suffering. This archaic law is costing Floridians thousands and thousands of dollars every day. Nurse practitioners, who could provide a needed prescription, instead must send the patient to another office or an emergency room just to get the prescription for the patient. Sometimes the patient case is described to a physician on the phone, wasting precious time for both the nurse practitioner and the physician, and then the physician phones in the controlled medication prescription to a pharmacy without ever seeing the patient. I hear all the time from physicians, ‘why do I have to do this? Why can’t you be allowed to do this?’ It makes no sense." Mr. Hazzard went on to point out, "Often the patients sent to the emergency room just to receive a controlled medication prescription are on Medicare or Medicaid, and this adds a huge needless cost to those already over-budget programs."