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President Office — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2016

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229


Legislation to Expand Availability of Medical Care Passes Senate Health Policy Committee

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy, chaired by Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach), today passed Senate Bill 676, Health Care, by Senator Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring). The legislation expands prescribing privileges for physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).

“Florida is currently the only state that does not allow ARNPs to prescribe controlled substances and is one of two states that does not allow PAs to prescribe these medications,” said Senate President Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando). “This legislation will help expand the availability of quality medical care by allowing skilled practitioners with advanced medical training to better meet the needs of their patients.”

“There are many rural communities across our state where physicians are simply not available and patients with serious medical conditions have to travel great distances to receive care,” said Senator Grimsley, a registered nurse with experience working in rural health care settings. “After completing years of education of clinical training, PAs and ARNPs have the skills needed to prescribe these medications to the patients they serve. This legislation will help make medical care more readily available while maintaining the high standards of training required to prescribe these controlled substances.”

Senate Bill 676 authorizes PAs and ARNPs to prescribe controlled substances under current supervisory standards for PAs and protocols for ARNPs beginning January 1, 2017 and creates additional statutory parameters for their controlled substance prescribing. The bill requires PAs and ARNPs to complete biennial continuing education on the safe and effective prescribing of controlled substances.

For more information on Senate Bill 676, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.

 

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