Bill allowing nurse practitioners to write prescriptions for certain drugs unanimously clears Senate panel

01/14/2014 10:44 AM

A bill to allow nurse practitioners to prescribe certain drugs without physician supervision moved through a Senate committee Tuesday, but unlike past years when the measure stalled, medical associations believe they have a compromise that can become law.

Senate Bill 7 , which is sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, unanimously cleared the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee Tuesday.

Last session the bill failed in the Senate. But health advocate and bill supporter Sheila Schuster said the key to the compromise was adding a requirement for nurse practitioners to be supervised by a physician for four years before being able to write prescriptions on their own.

Hornback applauded Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, for asking members to hold off on the legislation last session and work toward a compromise during the interim.

That compromise, supporters say, is needed to help ease a growing doctor shortage especially in rural areas. The increase in Medicaid patients and Kentuckians with insurance through the Affordable Care Act is expected to increase the demand on the medical system.

The bill spent less than ten minutes in committee on Tuesday with most legislators thanking and congratulating one another on working issues out over the interim.

If the bill clears the full Senate Schuster said Rep. Mar Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, will take hold of the bill in the House.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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