TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida TaxWatch, the state’s premier, non-partisan government watchdog for almost 40 years, has led the charge for expanding scope of practice for advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs), which would significantly lower costs for patients while improving access across the state. On January 1, 2017, provisions within HB 423 became effective, making Florida the final state in the country to allow ARNPs to prescribe controlled drugs.
“Removing the barriers of practice for ARNPs and PAs is one of the many cost-effective ways that Florida can move its healthcare system into the 21st century and ensure that our residents are receiving the care they need,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “We applaud the efforts of the Legislature during the 2016 Legislative Session in expanding scope of practice for ARNPs and PAs. It was an excellent session for these healthcare issues.”
In addition to HB 423, numerous other bills passed expanding scope of practice for ARNPs and PAs including HB 1241, HB 375 and HB 977, all of which were consistent with Florida TaxWatch recommendations on the issue. Still, more must be done as Florida’s ARNP and PA practice laws are still among the most restrictive in the United States. These restrictions hamper the ability of ARNPs and PAs to practice to their full potential, significantly harming the health care of Floridians and hindering the economy.
Florida TaxWatch will continue to inform policy makers about the benefits of expanding scope of practice for ARNPs and PAs in the upcoming Legislative Session and beyond as we work to move Florida’s archaic health care system into the 21st century.
Read TaxWatch’s research on ARNPs and PAs here.