House ready to pass ‘scope of practice’ expansions
Rep. Cary Pigman touts his bill to give nurses more independence to provide health care.

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It's unclear whether the Senate has an appetite for the measures.

On Thursday, priority legislation of House Speaker Jose Oliva expanding the powers of nurses and pharmacists was set up for a House vote.

HB 7053 would expand the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants, allowing them to practice without physician supervision.

Oliva has contended that this would allow them to “practice to the full extent of their training.”

Rep. Cary Pigman outlined how much more they can do without doctoral supervision in remarks Thursday.

The bill would “allow” an APRN to “practice autonomously,” if that person has at least 2,000 hours of supervised practice, a graduate course in pharmacology, and no adverse incidents.

Pigman noted that medical malpractice coverage would be set at $300,000 aggregate a year, and APRNs would be subject to the same reportage requirements as doctors.

HB 607, which would allow ARPNs to admit to, handle care in, or discharge patients from facilities, also went through its final hearing before the floor Thursday.

The House enthusiasm for these concepts has not been matched on the Senate side, as there is no companion bill for either one.

These bills have each had powerful allies outside the Capitol.

The Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Florida Academy of Physicians’ Assistants, the Hospital and Nurses Associations, Americans for Prosperity, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce all support HB 607.

Pigman noted that he has presented this bill 23 times.

Ahead of the floor vote, an amendment was approved clarifying that APRNs would be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.

Americans for Prosperity is running an advocacy ad campaign in favor of HB 7053, meanwhile.

Additionally, Rep. Tyler Sirois‘ bill (HB 389) allowing pharmacists to “test and treat” for flu, strep, lice, skin conditions like ringworm and minor, non-chronic conditions was also green-lighted for the House floor.

Unlike St. Augustine Republican Sen. Travis Hutson‘s version (SB 714), Sirois’ puts the primary rule-making of test and treat in the Board of Pharmacy’s hands instead of the Board of Medicine’s. Additionally, pharmacists could prescribe medication for substance abuse and addiction.

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Florida Politics’ Renzo Downey contributed to this post. 

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com



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