Statehouse Update: APN Schedule II Prescriptive Authority Bill Moves ForwardThursday, January 26, 2012
APN Schedule II Prescriptive Authority Bill Moves Forward
After nearly six years of debate in the state legislature, a bill that will grant advance practice nurses (APNs) the authority to write Schedule II medications is one step closer to becoming law (APNS have had the ability to write Schedule III through V medications since 2002.). The measure, Senate Bill 83, passed the House Health and Aging Committee on Jan. 25. The bill is expected to pass the full House as well.
SB 83 did not change the requirement that APNs have to have a collaboration agreement with a physician and work under a standard care arrangement. The proposal does not permit an APN to practice independently.
Throughout the discussions on this issue, the OSMA has maintained that there are certain settings where it may be appropriate and beneficial to patients and health care facilities to permit APNs to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. One common feature to those settings is that all health care professionals work together in physician-led teams for their patients’ best interests.
The OSMA recommended that SB 83 be amended to limit the Schedule II authority to occur only in those specific settings where the physician-led health care team is firmly in place. That recommendation was incorporated into SB 83 and the OSMA believes that with these parameters, the bill still achieves the stated goals of the proponents while also maintaining appropriate safeguards to better ensure patient safety.
Language was also added to SB 83 at the OSMA’s request to expressly prohibit Schedule II authority for APNs in locations known as “convenience clinics.” We can think of no scenario where it would be medically necessary to write a Schedule II narcotic in a convenience-type clinic.
With the OSMA recommended changes added to SB 83, the OSMA changed its position on the measure from opposition to neutral. For additional information on SB 83, click here.
OSMA Physician Leader Appointed to the State Medical Board
Gov. John Kasich appointed Mark Bechtel, MD, a Columbus dermatologist, to the State Medical Board. Dr. Bechtel is the director of Dermatology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and past chief of Dermatology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Bechtel is currently serving as the president of the Columbus Medical Association and is the chairman of the Ohio Dermatological Association’s (ODA) Legislative Committee and past president. In addition to his clinical duties and extensive record of service, he is actively involved in the OSMA’s advocacy and political activities. Dr. Bechtel’s leadership and passion for public health issues has played a strong role in the legislative initiatives to protect Ohio’s children from the damages of hazardous ultraviolet tanning bed radiation.
The OSMA supported Dr. Bechtel’s appointment and looks forward to working with him on the Board. The appointment is awaiting confirmation by the Ohio Senate.
Be Prepared for Ohio’s Primary Election
With Ohio’s primary election on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the OSMA is providing you with the tools to ensure that you are registered to vote, either by absentee or in-person.
The deadline for voter registration is Feb. 6, 2012. If you are not currently registered to vote in the state of Ohio or you wish to update your current voting address, please click here for voter registration information.
In addition, all Ohio voters have the opportunity to vote absentee by mail. To do so, you will need to fill out your absentee voter request form by clicking here. You will be asked to fill out your information and to open a printer friendly PDF. Please be sure to allow for the information to be downloaded within the PDF by ‘trusting this document one time’ if and when you are prompted.
Once your form has been printed and signed, you will need to mail it to your local county board of elections. Mailing addresses for all of the county BOE’s can be found by clicking here. All absentee ballots must be received by your county board of elections prior to the close of the polls on Election Day or postmarked no later than the day before the election.
You are strongly encouraged to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections. In 2012, the entire Ohio House of Representatives, half of the Ohio Senate, all of Ohio’s Congressional delegation, three Ohio Supreme Court Justices, one U.S. Senator and the President are up for election. The OSMA and OSMA Political Action Committee (OSMAPAC) will be working hard this election season to identify and elect medicine-friendly candidates. For more information on the OSMAPAC, click here or click here to contribute.
Want to continue the discussion on the OSMA Community? Click here to post your thoughts and connect with your peers on the OSMA’s member-only forum.