The sentence has appeared in every edition of the Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision series since the first Healthy Vision 2010 was published 14 years ago: “TMA opposes any efforts to expand any health professionals’ scope of practice beyond what is safely permitted by their education, training, and skills.”
That focus on safety remains an integral part of Healthy Vision 2025, published last week. And that sentence remains, verbatim.
TMA leaders are using the document to help remind state lawmakers that growing physician-led health care teams — not authorizing independent practice for allied health practitioners — is the safest and most appropriate way to improve access to and coordination of patient care. Already in the young 2019 legislative session, bills have been introduced or discussed that would expand the scope of practice of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), pharmacists, optometrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and even naturopaths (whose license was eliminated in Texas in the 1950s).
In addition to the seminal statement, the “Focus on Teamwork” section of Healthy Vision 2025 recommends that the Texas Legislature:
- 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.
TMA staff and leaders already have delivered Healthy Vision 2025 to all 181 members of the legislature, to the Capitol press corps, and to other key players. Through this week, a TMA campaign of paid advertisements and social media outreach will further promote the document and its legislative recommendations.
How can you get involved?
Last Updated On
February 07, 2019