Texas Legislature Holds Hearing on Bill to Remove Barriers to NPs
Monday, April 8, 2019
Posted by: Erin Cusack
On Thursday, April 4, the Texas legislature held a public hearing for H.B. 1792 by Representative Stephanie Klick, legislation that would allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives to practice without a state-mandated delegation agreement, or physician contract, after working at least 2,080 hours under a physician.
“Texas Nurse Practitioners applauds Representative Stephanie Klick and the 30 co-sponsors who have signed on to this legislation,” said Robert Metzger, President of Texas Nurse Practitioners.” “Texas ranks 47th in the country for access to a primary care provider and 51st in access to healthcare. We need to do everything we can to expand access to quality, affordable care provided by nurse practitioners, and H.B. 1792 would do just that.”
Lutricia Harrison, a Houston-based family nurse practitioner who owns her own primary care practice, testified at the Texas State Capitol last Thursday in support of the legislation, as well as representatives of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, AARP-Texas, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Texas Silver-Haired Legislature, and Texas Consortium of Certified Nurse Midwives.
“H.B. 1792 would allow more patients to have access to timely, quality care provided by a nurse practitioner,” Harrison said during her testimony. “This bill is important to me personally because if my collaborating physician were to decide today that they do not want to collaborate with me anymore, I would have to close my practice overnight. Many of my patients would have nowhere to turn for care and revert to old habits of taking home remedies for blood pressure maintenance and utilizing the emergency room for their primary care visits – all of which drives up the cost of healthcare and contributes to poor health outcomes."
"APRNs are well suited to help Texas solve our primary care shortage and like any medical professional, are trained to understand the extent of their training and to know when to consult when they're beyond their training," Klick said during the closing statements of the hearing.
H.B. 1792 was left pending in Committee and awaits further action. There is also a Senate Companion bill, S.B. 2438, which was recently referred to the Senate Business & Commerce Committee.
"We thank the members of the committee, especially Chairman Sheffield and Chairwoman Thompson, for hearing the bill and look forward to seeing H.B. 1792 progress," said Metzger.
Watch the public hearing on HB 1792 here: https://vimeo.com/329192063
See the full KXAN new story here: https://www.kxan.com/news/texas-politics/nurse-practitioners-want-ability-to-practice-independently-in-texas/1900256147