Pennsylvania legislators seek to eliminate physician tie for nurse practitioners

Two Pennsylvania senators are seeking to eliminate the physician requirement for nurse practitioners, The Morning Call reported Jan. 9.

Sens. Camera Bartolotta and Lisa Boscola are refiling a bill that would remove the requirement for nurse practitioners to collaborate with two physicians. Instead, practitioners would fulfill a three-year, 3,600-hour physician collaboration period before practicing independently.

The current requirements are "archaic restrictions" that "no longer reflect modern medicine," the senators said in the report. Versions of the bill have never cleared the Legislature, but supporters hope the impact of nurse practitioners during COVID-19 will allow it to pass this year.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society and other medical associations worry that cutting physicians from nurse practitioner practices could lead to patient safety issues.

"It is in the best interests of patients to have a physician-led team lead their overall care," F. Wilson Jackson, MD, a gastroenterologist and the Pennsylvania Medical Society president, told The Morning Call.

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