Arkansas Legislative Update
This is a copy of a letter that was sent to all American Association of Nurse Practitioners from AANP State Representative Katherine Darling. All ANPA members get a $10 discount on AANP membership as a "member benefit" of joining ANPA. See below for the content of the recent legislative update.
Arkansas Legislative Recap
Dear AANP Arkansas Member,
With the adjourning of this year's legislative session for Arkansas, there are several important updates I'd like to share with you on the outcome of some of the bills important to NPs and their patients.
Please see below for more details. The link on each bill number will take you to the bill text if you'd like to read the full legislative language. Most legislation takes effect 90 days after legislative adjournment (4/22/15 this year.) Please contact the Arkansas Board of Nursing with any questions regarding your prescriptive authority or collaborative agreement.
HB 1136, now Act 529:
- Authorizes APRNs and PAs to prescribe hydrocodone combination products that were reclassified from Schedule III to Schedule II by the U.S. DEA on October 6, 2014, to the extent authorized by their collaborative agreement with a physician.
- APRNs with prescriptive authority and a DEA number that includes Schedule IIs will be able to prescribe only hydrocodone products. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) will be crafting regulations for the new act. Please watch AANP communication for further updates or check with the ASBN for effective date and regulation parameters.- Please note there were two other bills that did not pass that would have authorized full Schedule II prescriptive authority. For now, only hydrocodone combination product prescriptive authority is granted.
HB 1609, now Act 824:
- Amends language in the Nurse Practice Act regarding collaborative agreements. Changes the requirement that NPs maintain a collaborative agreement with "a physician" who has "a practice comparable in scope, specialty, or expertise to that of the [APRN]" to one that requires NPs maintain a collaborative agreement with "a practicing physician" who has "training comparable in scope, specialty or expertise to that of the [APRN]."
- APRNs should check with the ASBN for added details on how this change will affect existing and future collaborative agreements.
SB 133, now Act 887:
- Relates to health care providers delivering care via telemedicine, requiring a professional relationship between the patient and the provider as defined in the bill, and requiring health care providers treating Arkansas patients through telemedicine to be fully licensed or certified by the state. Allows insurers to cover telemedicine services.
SB 624, now Act 997:
- Adjusts membership on the Board of Nursing from 6 to 5 RNs and from 1 to 2 APRNs, one of whom would need to hold prescriptive authority. The bill also makes changes to the LPN membership and requires at least one of the RN or APRN members to be a nurse educator.
Katherine Darling, DNP, FNP, PMHNP, APRN
AANP State Representative, Arkansas