In a rebuttal to an Op-ed from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) published last week, Cindy Weston, President of Texas Nurse Practitioners, says concerns about the quality of APRN care ring hollow.
“The doctors union continues to protect an unnecessary, outdated law that is preventing trained, qualified professionals from providing care to the parts of Texas that need them the most,” says Weston. “Texas needs more healthcare providers, particularly in the most underserved areas. Unfortunately, an unnecessary mandate has created an almost insurmountable obstacle for half of our state’s primary care workforce.”
Weston points out that TMA promotes cherry-picked, questionable data from one small, non-peer-reviewed “study” from Mississippi—which is actually another of the dwindling number of states still requiring physician contracts. APRNs have decades of data that point to the safety and quality of APRN care. As just one example, a peer-reviewed study of 806,434 VA patients found no differences in costs, clinical outcomes, and receipt of diagnostic tests between nurse practitioner-assigned patients and MD-assigned patients.
A bipartisan bill introduced this session by Senators César Blanco and Mayes Middleton, the HEAL (Healthcare Expanded and Accessed Locally) Texans Act, would fix our laws to address our state’s healthcare workforce challenges and make it easier for new clinics to open and for our other much-needed healthcare facilities, such as rural hospitals, to stay in operation.
Over half the country—including California, Kansas, and Florida—has passed legislation to retire antiquated physician contracting requirements. How long will Texas wait to do the same?