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Monday, March 7, 2011

TMA FIGHTS SCOPE OF PRACTICE BATTLES FOR PATIENT SAFETY

We strongly oppose any efforts to expand nonphysician practitioners’ scope of practice beyond what’s safely permitted by their education, training, and skills. That means we’re fighting three bills that would allow independent practice by advanced practice nurses. Those bills — HB 708 by Rep. Kelley Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), HB 915 by Wayne Christian (R-Center), and HB 1266 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) — include diagnosing, prescribing, ordering tests, and making referrals without physician supervision within nurse practitioners’ scope of practice. We also oppose HB 637 by Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston), which authorizes physical therapists to treat patients without a physician referral. And Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) has filed SB 1056 that broadens the scope of practice for optometrists. We oppose that bill as it currently stands. We expect to see more bills that would expand the scope of practice of chiropractors and possibly other allied health professionals.

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