AMCNO Urges Its Members to Send Letters of Opposition to Legislators for HB 216

The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio (AMCNO) has taken a position of opposition on HB 216, and we have been working with other medical associations around the state to express concern about this legislation to the members of the Ohio legislature.  As introduced, HB 216 would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in Ohio to practice independently, without a standard care arrangement with a collaborating physician.  To view a fact sheet about this issue, click here

This bill threatens to fundamentally change how physicians and APRNs work together in a collaborative manner. We must let our elected officials know that Ohio physicians strongly oppose this legislation!

The bill would also grant prescriptive authority to certified registered nurse anesthetists and allow all APRNs to prescribe addictive Schedule II drugs in all settings except for retail clinics. HB 216 would allow Ohio’s more than 10,000 APRNs to prescribe medications – including addictive and dangerous Schedule II drugs – without consulting a physician.  With overdose deaths on the rise in Ohio we need greater accountability over prescribing, not less.  This drastic change in Ohio law from a collaborative team-based approach to an independent practice model of care for APRNs does not provide adequate patient safety assurances and could threaten the quality of care provided to Ohioans. 

The AMCNO is urging its members to contact their state legislators to oppose HB 216. Below are two links to samples you can use to send either a letter or an email to your legislator:

In a recent letter sent to the Honorable Anne Gonzales, Chair of the Ohio House Health and Aging Committee, concerning HB 216, which the AMCNO co-signed, several points were raised, including the following:

  • APNs suggest that studies show that practicing independently will result in improved access to care, will maintain or enhance care quality and will decrease overall healthcare costs. However, there are competing studies that suggest evidence backing these claims is not only weak but in many cases it is actually contradictory to these assertions.
  • Some APNs have publicly stated that they can “do everything a physician can do.” Clearly, APRNs have a valuable role in care for patients, but it is our belief that the education and training of physicians and APRNs are substantially different, and that physicians and nurses are not interchangeable.

The AMCNO believes that APRNs provide a valuable and necessary service when working under the direction of a physician when caring for a patient. Health care works best when there is a team-based approach to patient care, with multiple healthcare professionals working together under the direction of a physician. By permitting an APRN independent practice, the team-based approach to care will be further fragmented. 

The education and training of physicians are unsurpassed. Physicians have at least 11 years of education and training while APRNs have 5.5 to 7 years. While APRNs have a unique and important role in health care they have not completed medical school and residency training that affords them with the same knowledge, training, experience and skills as those who have completed medical school and residency training.

HB 216 unreasonably expands the scope of practice for APRNs. If HB 216 passes, APRNs would be able to order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe addictive narcotics and develop treatment plans without consulting a physician. HB 216 threatens the reliable assurance of safe and appropriate patient care at all times because the bill would change how physicians and APRNs collaborate. 

Send your letter of opposition to HB 216 today, and continue to check the AMCNO website for updates, additional information and resources about the bill.

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