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HOUSE PASSES BILL TO EXPAND COLLABORATION IN HEALTH CARE
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives today tentatively passed SB 406 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to improve access to health care by making it easier for physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants to work together to deliver services. The legislation, which was supported by the Texas Medical Association, the Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practice and the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, gives doctors more authority to delegate their authority.
"This bill allows highly trained medical professionals to practice to the top of their training, increasing patient access to qualified health care providers at a time when we are working to address critical shortages in our medical workforce," said Senator Nelson.
Specifically, SB 406:
- Eliminates current site-based supervision requirements and creates a standardized "prescriptive authority agreement" through which a physician may delegate the authority to prescribe and order a drug or device to an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or a physician assistant (PA);
- Increases the number of APRNs and PAs a physician may delegate to from four to seven;
- Ensures patient safety by improving communication and coordination between the Medical Board, Board of Nursing, and Physician Assistant Board regarding physicians, APRNs and PAs who have entered into prescriptive authority agreements; and
- Allows physicians to delegate prescriptive authority for Schedule II controlled substances to APRNs and PAs in hospitals and hospice.
After being finally approved on third reading by the House, the bill will return to the Senate so that changes made in the House can be agreed upon before going to the Governor for his signature.
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.