Help needed THIS WEEKEND on HB 1160 for full schedule II
Authorizing APRNs (with a Prescriptive Authority Certificate number and DEA number) to Prescribe Schedule II Controlled Substances
Please contact the following members of the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee and urge them to support HB 1160 when it comes before their committee on Monday, March 30, 2015:
Cecile Bledsoe, Chair
Stephanie Flowers, Vice Chair
Our focus this weekend is to do two things:
1. Focus on 3 members of Senate Public Health who may support the bill on second hearing:
Sen. Stephanie Flowers, Vice Chair - represents the area around Pine Bluff and also parts of Arkansas, Desha, Jefferson, Lincoln, Monroe, and Phillips counties.
Sen. Keith Ingram - represents the West Memphis and Delta area: also parts of Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Phillips and St. Francis counties are in his district.
Sen. Scott Flippo - represents parts of Baxter, Boone, and Marion counties.
2. We also need for you to contact your own Senators as well, anticipating going on to the Senate this week.
We have a very short time frame. Please make calls as first priority. Also consider using Facebook. Senator Keith Ingram has an active Facebook page. With one last push, we believe we can gain authority for APRNs to prescribe Schedule II medications.
Talking Points for Discussion
- 20-year History of APRNs Prescribing: Hydrocodone-combination medications are already being prescribed with a good safety record by APRNs in Arkansas. Since Federal guidelines are changing, we need to change Arkansas law to reflect contemporary practice needs.
- Prompt care for acute pain: Patient needs for acute pain control, such as in hospice care and in acute care settings. This is needed to avoid delay of care and added work to physicians when the APRN has knowledge of the patient and could easily write the prescription.
- APRNs working in rural areas: Especially in critical access facilities, where pain control is necessary, may not have immediate access to a physician. Patient care times and quality health outcomes are thereby both compromised by the inability to prescribe Schedule II medications when needed in medically underserved areas in Arkansas.
- Safety of Care: APRNs need to be able to directly write and document the prescriptions for patients they are managing. Involving a physician just for a signature does not improve safety, but it does add expense to care delivery, delay of care, and additional work for collaborative physicians.
- Cost of Care: If patients requiring Schedule II medication prescription renewal, they may have to wait for an appointment with a physician, which is a higher cost to the patient than if they had an appointment with an APRN.
- Education for ADHD/ADD prescribing: APRNs receive training on how to assess for and treat ADHD/ADD in APRN programs. If the APRN is performing the assessment and diagnosing the patient, the safest practice is for the provider performing these assessments (and follow-up care) be the prescriber.