FTC Staff: Proposed Texas Legislation Likely Would Benefit Health Care Consumers; Would Allow Expanded Patient Care by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

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Federal Trade Commission staff, in response to a request from Texas State Senators Rodney Ellis and Royce West, opined that Texas health care consumers would benefit from proposals in the Texas State Legislature that would allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

The FTC staff comment stated that Texas Senate Bills 1260 and 1339 would eliminate unnecessary physician supervision and delegation requirements imposed on APRNs, allowing them to make diagnoses and to prescribe and order prescription drugs and medical devices. This likely would result in lower health care costs, greater access to care, and more choice among settings where health care is provided. Available evidence suggests APRNs are safe providers of health care services when consistent with the scope of their training.

“Based on current evidence, the Bills’ elimination of supervision and delegation requirements appears to be a procompetitive improvement in the law that likely will benefit Texas health care consumers, because the current laws seem to unduly restrict patient care by APRNs,” the comment stated.

The Commission vote approving the staff comment was 5-0. It was sent on May 11, 2011. (FTC File No. V11007; the staff contact is Patricia Schultheiss, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2877.)

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(Texas Nurses)

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