California lawmakers try to pass scope-of-practice law, again

California Sen. Ed Hernandez introduced a bill Monday that seeks to grant nurse practitioners "full practice authority," according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

Language in the bill suggests this means nurse practitioners would have the authority to treat, diagnose and prescribe patients without supervision, a practice already allowed in 17 states and the District of Columbia, according to the report. An additional eight states permit nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat patients, just not prescribe medications without a physician.

The bill may sound familiar to the California Senate — a similar bill died two years ago with strong opposition from physician groups, including the California Medical Association, according to the report.

However, the law has more clout now that 2.5 million more Californians are insured under the PPACA and the state faces an increasing shortage of primary care physicians, Sen. Hernandez said in a statement.

The California Medical Association is expected to announce its position on the bill next month, according to the report.


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