Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Rally in Tally

What I'm missing by going to Kansas City today is the Nurse Practitioner Rally in Tally. Nurse Practitioners from all over Florida are convening on Tallahassee as I write this to gather in Waller Park to Rally regarding our bills regarding prescriptive authority.

This is the 16th year we have filed bills to release the strangle hold on our practice. We can write for all medications except controlled substances. Florida is one of the last two states (Alabama is the other) denying NPs the legal authority to write for schedule 2-5 medications. This causes unnecessary delays in care, many times outright denial of care, and increase in cost of care. We have had study after study that show the safety of nurse practitioners' prescribing patterns. We put together a White Paper as well as a Senate Report, both of which concluded that there was no good reason to deny controlled substance authority to NPs.

The problem in Florida is that the Florida Medical Association funds many key legislators. The chair of the Senate Health Regulations Committee, who determines which bills get on the agenda, has been heavily supported by FMA, as has his son in his first bid this year to a legislative seat. The Senator stated publicly that he has no intention of putting our bill on the agenda, end of story. He will not do it. He said this last week at a Florida Nurses' Association Lobby Day event to a group of NPs. If the bill is not on the committee agenda, it dies. If it isn't heard in the Senate committee, it won't be heard in the House committee either. The House is looking to the Senate for leadership on this issue. So it's done.

The NPs will gather anyway, knowing this. There are many legislators who still don't know these details, and if they do, they may put pressure on their fellow legislators. There will be a lot of energy there, and at least one group, a group from Volusia County, is being introduced in the House.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. Wish I could be there.

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