A growing number of state lawmakers across the country are realizing the destructive effect of overregulating healthcare providers. In the last few weeks, two more states have cut the red tape on outdated, unnecessary regulatory mandates for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). New York and Kansas have said goodbye for good to laws that restrict access to care by forcing APRNs to enter into a contract with a physician before they can provide care.
These mandates, however, continue to negatively impact access to care here in Texas, all the while serving as a hidden tax on patients, driving up the cost of healthcare.
Texas is now at a major competitive disadvantage for retaining and recruiting the best healthcare workforce. Nearly two-thirds of the country, including states like Florida, California, New Mexico, and now New York and Kansas, as well as all branches of the military have wised up and eliminated these barriers to quality, affordable care.
More than 7 million Texans live in health care shortage areas, and one proven, cost-saving solution is right in front of us. Studies have shown that APRNs are more likely to practice in rural or health professional shortage areas. In states that eliminate delegation agreements, APRNs have been 1.5 times more likely than physicians to practice in rural areas. Currently, more than 80% of nurse practitioners in Texas specialize in primary care.
Texans for Healthcare Access, a diverse coalition of organizations representing consumers, businesses, and healthcare stakeholders, is calling on Texas lawmakers to remove these mandates during the next legislative session.