As Texas reopens today, a broad group of business, healthcare, and consumer organizations -- including TCCRI, Texas Association of Business, AARP-Texas, Americans for Prosperity-Texas, Texas Business Leadership Council, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Texas Nurses Association, Methodist Healthcare Ministries and University Health System -- have signed on to a letter to Governor Abbott thanking him for his swift action to waive regulations and asking for his support to remove additional barriers for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) as we enter this next phase of managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically, the letter asks the Governor to waive the requirement that APRNS enter into a delegation agreement, or contract, with a physician in order to practice, which has still prevented many APRNs in Texas from being able to work or volunteer during the crisis.
“Your efforts to reduce and streamline regulatory hurdles for providers such as APRNs have been welcome and helpful for many APRNs who are seeking to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus,” the letter stated. “There are more ways that APRNs can contribute, however, and their services will be in demand more than ever now that you have taken the welcome step of allowing medical offices to open.”
The letter said there could be a possible increase in the number of patients seeking care as clinics open their doors again and patients return to routine healthcare services. Simultaneously, Texas is expanding testing capabilities across the state.
“During this challenging time, APRNs have played and will continue to play a pivotal role in efficiently treating COVID patients while also addressing the ongoing health care needs of Texans," the letter continued. “Waiving the delegation agreement entirely would mean more APRNs doing more to help Texas get back on its feet.”