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Florida Panhandle Nurse Practitioner Coalition

Nurse Practitioner Facts and Access to care issues

Posted almost 9 years ago by Stanley F Whittaker

Florida Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) Facts
  • Florida is one of two states that do not allow ARNPS to prescribe controlled medicines.

  • FL Agency for Health Care Administration evaluated ARNP ability to prescribe controlled medicines (1997) as well as Senate Interim Report 2008-117. Both recommend allowing ARNPs to prescribe controlled medicines.

  • There has never been a revocation of controlled substance prescription privilege law in any of the 48 states. Many states have recently granted expansion of controlled medicines to ARNPs. Diversion rates have not increased in states where NPs already prescribe CSs.

  • Recent Sun Sentinel poll shows 74% of respondents in favor of NPs prescribing controlled medicines.

  • American College of Physicians recently published a formalized statement which acknowledges and endorses “the growing need for Nurse Practitioners”.

  • As of September 2009 there were 13,894 ARNPs registered with the State of Florida.

  • Currently only 2% of medical school graduates choose primary care as a career. 35% of Florida ARNPs are certified as Family Nurse Practitioners.

  • As of 2015 all of Florida’s ARNPs will be required to earn doctorate level education.

  • Florida Worker’s Compensation recognizes ARNPs as Health Care Providers.

  • Healthcare Integrity & Protection Data Banks reports the number of negative licensure actions, civil judgments, criminal convictions, state agency/health plan reports:

     

  • 44 complaints for 10,227 ARNPs; ratio of - 1 complaint to 232 ARNPs.

  • 1762 complaints for 57,000 MD/interns/Residents; ratio of - 1 complaint per 33 MD/Interns/Residents.

  • 229 complaints for 3,760 DO/Interns/Residents; ratio of 1 complaint per 17 DO/Interns/Residents.


  • 83% of Florida ARNPs work full-time.

  • ARNPs see an average of 76.8 patients per week over 40 million patient visits a year.

  • ARNP’s spend an average of 3.9 hours per week getting prescriptions signed. By removing this barrier ARNPS could see more than 2 million more patients each year.

 

Florida Access to Care Issues
  • Access to quality health services was identified as the top ranking rural health priority in a national survey of state and local health leaders and stakeholders.

  • There are 41 Federally Qualified Health Centers and 142 Rural Health Clinics providing care at 372 sites in Florida. Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) or Physician Assistant (PA) (by federal requirement) must furnish care 50% of the time while the clinic is open.

  • Many physicians no longer take Medicaid.

  • Many small rural hospitals have closed while other health care facilities are in financial straits.

  • 2,800,000 citizens in Florida live in a Health Professional Shortage Area, 15% of the population: (Kaiser Family Foundation accessed 7/3/09).

  • The uninsured are much less likely to have a source of health care or be seen by a provider in the last year; they are also much more likely to delay seeking care.

  • American Academy of Family Physicians predicts a shortage of 40,000 primary care doctors by 2020 with fewer doctors in the rural areas.

  • Nonavailability of transportation or resources makes access to care harder if distance is a factor. This often results in ambulance transport to the Emergency Room thereby tripling the cost.

  • 90% of Americans prefer to receive care in their homes if diagnosed with a terminal illness. Hospice based care facilitates this preference, provides nursing care and support.

By restricting ARNPs ability to prescribe controlled medicine an added burden is placed on the patient. By requiring the patient to seek additional care for the purpose of getting a prescription signed is not in the patient’s best interest nor is it cost effective. Currently a minimum of 4 hours per week is wasted waiting to get a controlled medicine prescription signed. This medication could be for Seizures, ADHD, and Behavioral issues, Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Burns, Dislocations, Diarrhea, Lacerations, Fractures and Sprains. At present ARNPs must have a physician sign these prescriptions.

 


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