August 30, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Professional Development & Education Scope of Practice
Sacramento – On behalf of the California Medical Association (CMA) and the Coalition for Patient Access and Quality Care, CMA President Paul R. Phinney, M.D., issued the following statement regarding SB 491’s failure to pass out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee:
“The 37,000 members of CMA and dozens of groups aligned in the Coalition for Patient Access and Quality Care applaud the members of Assembly Appropriations Committee for understanding the harm that SB 491 would have caused patients. Not only would the bill have allowed nurse practitioners to practice without supervision, but it also would have also given them authority to prescribe narcotic pain medications (opioids) like oxycodone without any oversight.
“CMA and our partners understand that California faces a physician shortage, but SB 491 would not have solved that problem. We have been pleased to work with Senator Hernandez on efforts to leverage the skills of advanced practice pharmacists working with physicians (SB 493), and on other legislation to optimize use of physician assistants (SB 352 and SB 494).
“Physician groups like CMA are committed to addressing issues of access and to that end, helped to secure funding for the new UC Riverside Medical School, which opened this month, putting more highly trained physicians in underserved areas that need them the most. Other CMA supported legislation will expedite licenses for physicians willing to practice in rural and underserved areas (AB 1288) and will expand the eligibility for the successful Steve Thompson Loan Repayment Program (AB 565).
“Quality and safety of medical care must remain paramount as we look to new and innovate ways to treat patients. Team based care, led by a physician is the safest, most cost effective way to treat patients – not SB 491.”
The Coalition for Patient Access and Quality Care includes the California Medical Association; Union of Physicians and Dentists, AFSCME 206; California Academy of Family Physicians; Diabetes Coalition of California; California Society of Anesthesiologists; Blind Children’s Center; California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons; California Society of Plastic Surgeons; American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Latino Physicians of California; Chinese Medical Dental Association; Let’s Face It Together; Minority Health Institute, Inc.; Dream Machine Foundation; Canvasback Missions, Inc; Lighthouse Mission; Time for Change Foundation; Here 4 Them; and Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California; among others.