The Florida HB 423 – ARNP/PA Controlled Substance Prescribing is a bill that has been in place since January 2017. The law allows Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to prescribe specific controlled substances under protocol requirements and supervision. Prescription for controlled medications should be in accordance with a formulary established by the state’s nursing board. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the bill. It goes further to describe the impacts of the new law on health coverage in the state of Florida.
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Analysis and Description of the Bill
HB 423 has been in effect since January 2017. The law affects a wide range of nursing and medical professions. According to the bill, PAs and ARNPs are only allowed to prescribe specific drugs or substances outlined in section 893.03 (Schedules II, III, and IV) of Florida Statuses (Kayton, 2016). PAs and ARNPs privileges for administering Schedule II substances are limited to a period of 7 days (Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists, n.d.). They cannot prescribe psychotropic drugs or substances for individuals below 18 years. This is only allowed for psychiatric nurses. A practitioner with a Master’s degree in nursing specialty field or area can dispense certain controlled substances. Additionally, PAs and ARNPs must complete three hours of effective and safe prescribing of controlled substances education before being permitted to deliver various controlled substances to different patients (Kunic & Jackson, 2013).
Practitioners, according to this new law, must fulfill the standards for prescribing medications for chronic non-malignant conditions or pain (Kayton, 2016). The law indicates that licensed allopathic and osteopathic physicians can prescribe various substances in pain management clinics. The state’s Board of Nursing establishes a committee to develop a formulary outlining specific medications that may be (or may not be) prescribed by ARNPs.
Effects on Health Coverage in the State of Florida
HB 423 recognizes that PAs and ARNPs can undertake a wide range of roles in healthcare. The move appears to support the goals outlined by the Institute of Medicine whereby nurses can be empowered to practice depending on their expertise or education. This change has transformed the manner in which medical practices can be pursued in the state. The law encourages PAs and practitioners to acquire new training and support individuals in need of special substances (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2016). Physicians working with PAs and ARPNs will use these guidelines to ensure the targeted patients receive quality services.
ARNPs and PAs practicing in rural areas across the state will be in a position to provide timely and appropriate treatment to their patients (Japsen, 2016). In urban regions, these practitioners will maximize the quality of care available to their patients. When practitioners are supervised and allowed to prescribe controlled substances, it will be easier for them to meet the needs of individuals with chronic pain or terminal illnesses (Siegel, 2016). Since physician shortage is a major problem in the state’s healthcare sector, the empowerment of ARNPs to prescribe controlled substances under specific conditions will transform the health outcomes of different patients in Florida.
The Act outlines how PAs and ARNPs are empowered to practice within the existing protocols whenever prescribing controlled substances. Physicians will be keen to collaborate with ARNPs in an attempt to ensure the right medications are available to every patient. Areas that do not have enough physicians such as rural regions will record positive health results. The Act will, therefore, ensure more people have access to timely and appropriate medications for various conditions.
American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2016). APNA Florida chapter. Web.
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Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists. (n.d.). Florida HB 423 – ARNP/PA controlled substance prescribing. Web.
Japsen, B. (2016). Nurse practitioners, physician assistants near prescribing authority Florida. Forbes Magazine. Web.
Kayton, A. (2016). Florida legislative session update. FANNP News, 26(2), 1-8. Web.
Kunic, R. J., & Jackson, D. (2013). Transforming nursing practice: Barriers and solutions. AORN Journal, 98(3), 235-248. Web.
Siegel, S. (2016). Expanding the role of ARNPs and PAs in increasingly competition. Web.