COLUMBUS—State Senators Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) recently 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).
Due to passage of House Bill 188 of the 131st General Assembly, also joint sponsored by Senators Manning and Huffman, current 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 is an extension of this previous work, and ensures that patients are being represented by the provider who most directly manages their healthcare protocols while removing unnecessary work being undertaken by physicians who must otherwise must enter into consult agreements on behalf of these APRNs and PAs.
"This is important legislation to ensure that patients are receiving the most accurate representation of their specific care management," said Senator Manning. "Pharmacists are highly effective at managing chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, so by authorizing expanded collaboration with doctors and nurses, this bill will significantly expand patient access to quality care."
“Patients suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes need greater access to care. Senate Bill 303 is an excellent way to raise the bar and create more options for patients," said Dan and Judy Houdeshell, residents of Avon, Ohio who previously worked with the Senators to pass House Bill 188 following the death of their son. "Seeing Senators Huffman and Manning team up again on this ultra important healthcare issue is a great feeling. We watched their intensity and passion when House Bill 188 was introduced and passed. We know Ohio legislators will come through again for all of us.”
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.
"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.
“Patients are better served when healthcare providers collaborate. Senate Bill 303 will eliminate the red tape that stands in the way of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists better working together to keep Ohioans out of the hospital,” said Antonio Ciaccia, who serves as the CEO for the Ohio Pharmacists Association. “The Ohio Pharmacists Association applauds Senator Huffman and Senator Manning for elevating the standard of care for patients through SB 303.”