TAFP releases multi-page policy brief on scope of practice

Tags: advocacy, scope of practice, health care, policy

TAFP releases multi-page policy brief on scope of practice

posted 02.17.11

The first of its kind, your Academy has published a policy brief titled, “The Question of Independent Diagnosis and Prescriptive Authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in Texas: Is the Reward Worth the Risk?”

In the document, author Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., a third-year family medicine resident at the Conroe Family Medicine Residency Program, explores three questions surrounding scope of practice. Should the state of Texas redefine the practice of medicine, and what regulatory changes must be made to the Medical Practice Act to do this? Should there be a minimum standard of education to practice medicine in the state of Texas? Will expanding the practice of medicine to nurse practitioners discourage medical students from pursuing family medicine and other primary care specialties, consequently damaging the primary care workforce?

Ramas asserts that important reforms have already been set in motion to increase access to high-quality primary care in Texas and to support a collaborative, team-based model, which medical and economic researchers believe can provide higher quality care to patients for less cost. “The Legislature should continue to support the numerous programs past Legislatures initiated to encourage our best and brightest to become primary care physicians, and to increase integration and coordination of our health care delivery system so that every Texan has a primary care medical home. That is the right answer for Texas.”

Ramas’ research was funded in part through the TAFP Foundation James C. Martin, M.D. Scholarship. She traveled to the TAFP offices this summer to meet with TAFP staff, state legislators, and other stakeholders. This policy brief is the first in a series; TAFP will publish additional policy briefs as the session progresses. To read the brief, go to the www.tafp.org/advocacy/resources and look for it in the “multi-page policy document” section. Or access a direct link here.