On March 31, 2020, Gov. Edwards took steps to make healthcare more accessible to Louisianans by removing barriers to care and allowing all healthcare practitioners to practice at the top level of training. The executive order is set to expire or be renewed March 31, 2021.
For nurse practitioners, Gov. Edwards temporarily alleviated regulatory barriers that had been in place decades. Prior to the executive order, nurse practitioners were required to have contracts with physicians to be able to practice. This mandated contract, a collaborative practice agreement, only requires that the physician be available by phone.
Dr. Karen Lyon, Louisiana State Board of Nursing CEO, says that since the executive order, nurse practitioners have continued to provide excellent medical care and refer patients to other medical providers as needed.
Across the country, 23 states and the District of Columbia offer nurse practitioners full practice authority. Numerous expert health policy organizations conclude that repealing the requirement for collaborative practice agreement is a key component in our nation’s strategy to deliver effective healthcare efficiently and improve primary care access.
Louisiana ranks 50th in healthcare outcomes. Increased access to care is a step in the right direction. In eight of the 10 healthiest states in the country, nurse practitioners aren’t mandated to have collaborative practice agreements.
Nurse practitioners provide primary care to many in communities across Louisiana. We are asking for legislators to move Louisiana forward permanently.
Louisiana's nurse practitioners have proven their value in the worst of times. We ask that regulatory barriers be removed so that Louisianans will have increased access to care.
In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission released findings based on extensive research, economic principles and competition theory, reaching the same conclusion: Expanded APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) scope of practice is good for competition and consumers.
The FTC says, “Mandatory physician supervision and collaborative practice agreement requirements are likely to impede competition among health care providers and restrict APRNs’ ability to practice independently, leading to decreased access to health care services, higher health care costs, reduced quality of care, and less innovation in healthcare delivery. … we suggest that state legislators view APRN supervision requirements carefully. Empirical research and on-the-ground experience demonstrate that APRNs provide safe and effective care within the scope of their training, certification and licensure.”
— Kathy Baldrige, 2018-2021 president of Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners, Alexandria