The following is a statement from Charles Cutler, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and a practicing physician in Montgomery County. He reacts to a vote on Pennsylvania SB 25 in the Senate Licensure Committee.
Despite widespread public opinion, today the Pennsylvania Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure moved SB 25 out of its committee on a 13-2 vote.
Charles Cutler, MD, PAMED President
It has been the position of the Pennsylvania Medical Society that the best, most effective care occurs when a team of health care professionals with complementary — not interchangeable — skills work together. The collaborative agreement between CRNPs and physicians plays a significant role in patient safety and enhances rather than impedes the ability of CRNPs to deliver quality patient care. This bill decreases that collaboration by eliminating collaborative agreements between nurse practitioners and medical doctors. As such, SB 25 allows individuals with graduate nursing degrees to practice medicine without a medical degree and without the guaranteed back-up of a medical doctor as well as prescribe very powerful medications, including opioids.
The importance of a physician-directed team and the coordination of quality care should never be lowered. Initiatives to enhance precautions to ensure patient care is never compromised must be a priority in today's complex health care environment. Collaborative agreements are necessary to maintain the highest level of safety when medical care is provided by graduate nurses.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society is disappointed in this vote.
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The Pennsylvania Medical Society was founded in 1848. To learn more about PAMED, visit its web site at www.pamedsoc.org or follow on Twitter @PAMEDSociety. Members of the media are encouraged to follow Chuck Moran on Twitter @ChuckMoran7. Dr. Cutler can be followed on Twitter via @PAMEDPrez.