On June 12th, Senate Bill 25 (SB25) was passed by the Pennsylvania State Senate by a vote of 44-6. SB25 would grant nurse practitioners the right to independent practice without physician oversight in Pennsylvania. The bill has now been referred to the Pennsylvania House Professional Licensure Committee.
The GOOD NEWS is that the committee is not scheduled to meet until at least September 2019. At which time, they will either vote "through committee" or fail. If the “through committee” vote were to occur, the next step is to present Senate Bill 25 House Bill 100 to the full house for consideration.
The BAD NEWS is that the overwhelming PA Senate vote in favor of the bill illustrates that we as physicians are losing the lobbying battle. AAEM and AAEM/RSA strongly urge all Pennsylvania members to reach out to your local representative in opposition to HB100 and ask him/her to vote NO. Find your legislators here. You can also target specific members of the Pennsylvania House Professional Licensure Committee by clicking the link and clicking on a specific member.
A personal message and/or story are always more effective than a template, however, if you are pressed for time, you can refer to AAEM’s updated position statement regarding NP’s practicing without supervision. However, please keep in mind that many of our legislators have very little understanding of the vast training differences between MD/DO and non-physician providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The Primary Care Coalition has developed an excellent issue brief comparing the vast training gaps present between physicians and non-physicians. Furthermore, a response template from the Pennsylvania Medical Society is included below.
The importance of a board-certified emergency medicine physician (ABEM/AOBEM) led team cannot be undermined by well-funded press releases and lobbying as illustrated in the latest public relations campaign from the AANP entitled, “We Choose NP’s.” As stated in our position statement, board-certified emergency physicians ensure patient access to the highest-quality of care possible.