Reply by Senator Jay Costa to My Statement on Nurse Practitioner Independent Prescribing, and my Response
Dear Dr. Behar:
Thank you for contacting me to relate your opposition to Senate Bill 25, legislation that would amend Pennsylvania law to change the scope of practice for certified registered nurse practitioners in our state. I appreciate your interest in this matter and I understand that you are concerned about this bill.
As you are likely aware, Senate Bill 25 has passed the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and was considered by the Senate for the first time on March 29, 2017. I signed on as a co-sponsor on this bill because I believe it is time for Pennsylvania to join the twenty-one states and the District of Columbia in allowing CRNPs to have full authority to practice. This change to our law will help us to reduce health care costs, to ensure that our law is in step with modern medical practice and to assist in ensuring quality care to the nearly 35 per cent of Pennsylvanians who have inadequate primary care access. I recognize that there is a significant difference in training between physicians and CRNPs. This bill does not make light of that difference and requires that CRNPs meet a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration requirement before practicing more independently. I will consider your thoughts on this legislation and your reservations about it as it moves through the legislative process.
I could not disagree more strongly with your assertion that this legislation is motivated by racism. Pennsylvania has underserved populations of all races that could benefit from the broader practice authority of nurse practitioners, in rural and urban areas, and increasingly in suburban areas as well. Patients throughout the Commonwealth will benefit from cost savings created by this legislation, and I believe it is important that we pursue this course of action.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me about this legislation. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you in any way.
Senator Jay Costa, Jr.
Jay. I demand you add an amendment. "All Pennsylvania legislators, all their staffs, and all their first degree family members are prohibited from seeing doctors for medical care." Save some money. Experience the inferior care of black patients on Medicaid that you will be forcing on them.
I also request that you reveal all campaign contributions by insurance companies. It is they who are driving this movement.