Columbus –State Senators Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) and Nathan Manning (R- North Ridgeville) this week introduced legislation to expand consult agreement privileges to advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants (PAs).
Currently, Ohio law allows pharmacists to enter into consult agreements with physicians to manage drug therapies for patients with chronic health conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes. These consult agreements are patient-specific, last two years with the option to renew and may be terminated upon request of any of the three parties involved (pharmacist, physician, or patient).
Senate Bill 303 ensures that patients are being represented by the provider who most directly manages their healthcare protocols and removes unnecessary work being undertaken by physicians otherwise must enter into consult agreements on behalf of these APRNs and PAs.
"It is imperative now more than ever that we protect patients and healthcare providers. Protection includes removing burdensome requirements of physicians and still providing patients with the quality care management they deserve," said Senator Huffman.
This bill explicitly ensures that APRNs and PAs will still be under the supervision of a physician and it does not expand their scope of practice. Practitioners will still be required to have a relationship with each patient in a consult agreement, and these providers must be in a supervising or standard care arrangement with a supervising or collaborating physician.
"This is important legislation to ensure that patients are receiving the most accurate representation of their specific care management," said Manning.
Senate Bill 303 is an extension of House Bill 188 from the 131st General Assembly, which Senators Huffman and Manning also sponsored together.
Senate Bill 303 will be now be referred to a Senate Committee for further consideration.