Texas needs more physicians and other health care professionals working in all parts of the state, especially in rural and border Texas. But the real gains in improving access to and coordination of patient care will come largely from solidifying and expanding the use of physician-led teams.
Team-based care capitalizes on the efficiencies of having the right professional providing the right services to the right patient at the right time … with overall direction and coordination in the hands of physicians. Unfortunately, nonphysician practitioners once again are asking lawmakers to expand their legal scope of practice beyond what their education, training, and skills safely allow. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) want full practice authority. Pharmacists want to administer children’s vaccines, prescribe some medications without a physician’s directive, and perform some diagnostic testing. Chiropractors want to evaluate and treat disorders of the nervous system. And naturopaths, whose license was eliminated in Texas in the 1950s, want the state’s stamp of approval on their activities once again.
TMA recommends that the Texas Legislature:
- Oppose any efforts to expand any health professionals’ scope of practice beyond what is safely permitted by their education, training, and skills.
- Ensure any changes to scope-of-practice laws protect patient safety, are consistent with physician-led team-based care, are based on objective educational standards, and improve patient care.
- Require licensure and regulation by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) for any nonphysician practitioners who are qualified and seek authority to make a medical diagnosis and prescribe medications.
- Reject any attempt to adopt the APRN Compact multistate license, which would replace Texas scope-of-practice law with other states’ laws and authorize patient care independent of a supervisory or collaborative relationship with a physician.
- Require structured clinical training for APRN students.
Last Updated On
February 13, 2019