June 12, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Scope of Practice
The California Medical Association (CMA) is urging physicians to contact legislators and ask for NO votes on SB 491, SB 492 and SB 493. These three bills will expand scope of practice of nonphysician practitioners and remove necessary physician supervision, ultimate harming patients and decreasing quality of care. These bills may be heard in the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee as early as July 2.
Senate Bill 491 (Hernandez) would allow nurse practitioners to open practices without any oversight from a trained medical doctor and prescribe dangerous, addictive drugs without supervision. While an important part of the health care delivery system, nurse practitioners simply do not have adequate training or years of education that physicians do in order to be qualified to practice medicine without physician involvement.
Senate Bill 492 (Hernandez) would allow optometrists to provide primary care service including diagnosing diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. Under this bill, optometrists would be able to examine, prevent, diagnose and treat any disease, condition or disorder of the visual system, the human eye and adjacent related structures.
Senate Bill 493 (Hernandez) would allow advanced practice pharmacists to evaluate and manage diseases and health conditions without physician consultation. Additionally, any pharmacist would be able to furnish prescription smoking cessation drugs and devices with known harmful side effects including depression and in some cases, suicide.
Legislators need to know the true impact these bills would have in their districts.
Your calls are imperative to help us stop these bills and protect patients.