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tended to apply to hospital-based clinics, and, if necessary, she will clarify that language. BON Executive Director Katherine A. Thomas told Texas


Medicine the board has regulated APRNs since 1980 and pre- scriptive authority since 1989. As those and other changes occurred, the board reviewed and changed its curricular and continuing education requirements as needed to ensure safety in practice, and would do so again if the bill is implemented. In fact, the bill requires it. “We have a lot of experience on staff, and we will continue


to rely heavily on our outside advisory committee in setting regulations. We also use physicians as experts in our cases, and we will continue to do that, perhaps even more so,” Ms. Thomas said.


She added that BON and TMB already have a referral pro- cesses for when an investigation implicates another licensee, and the nursing board has educated APRNs about the existing requirement for physicians to register their agreement with the medical board.


“That communication is already there informally, and we would just formalize it,” Ms. Thomas said. “As always, we would take on this new responsibility seriously, and the board will do what it has always done, which is to make sure the public is protected.”


Dr. Fiesinger says the bill alone won’t fix access-to-care shortages in Texas, but it could be a piece of the solution. “Access is about getting boots on the ground,” he said. Sim- plifying the rules for physician oversight could, for example, make it easier for rural clinics to hire nurse practitioners and PAs to take care of more patients and still supervise them in a safe and legal manner.


That will certainly benefit physicians and their teams in conducting more efficient care, Dr. Floyd says. More impor- tantly, “the ones who really ought to win are the patients be- cause this ensures safety.” n


Amy Lynn Sorrel is an associate editor of Texas Medicine. You can reach her by tele- phone at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1392, or (512) 370-1392; by fax at (512) 370-1629; or by email at amy.sorrel@texmed.org.


All articles in Texas Medicine that mention Texas Medical Association’s stance on state legislation are defined as “legislative advertising,” according to Texas Govt. Code Ann. §305.027. That law requires disclosure of the name and address of the person who contracts with the printer to publish the legislative advertising in Texas Medicine: Louis J. Goodman, PhD, Executive Vice President, TMA, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701.


20 TEXAS MEDICINE May 2013


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