(February 21, 2017—Oklahoma City)
In response to a pending vote on legislation to allow nurse practitioners to practice medicine without the supervision of a medical doctor, the Oklahoma State Medical Association today released survey results showing Oklahomans overwhelmingly oppose such a move.
A new poll found 57% of respondents oppose expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners, while just 36% support such a move. The survey was conducted February 14-17 by CHS and Associates, Oklahoma’s premier polling firm. The poll surveyed 500 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4.3%.
“This data simply reinforces what our what our patients have been telling us all along,” said OSMA President Sherri Baker, MD. “In important medical situations, they want a well-trained doctor to be the one overseeing the process and making a final diagnosis.”
Under current law, nurse practitioners work together in a team-based setting under the supervision of a medical doctor. HB 1013 would allow them to practice independently without a supervising physician.
“The team-based approach to medical care has proven to provide the best patient outcomes and protect patient safety,” said Art Rousseau, MD, Chair of the OSMA’s Council on State Legislation. “We hope that lawmakers would put patient safety at the forefront of any considerations of HB 1013.”
Baker echoed this sentiment, pointing out the bill would allow nurse practitioners to prescribe dangerous Schedule II narcotics.
“At a time when our state is already battling an opioid crisis, it simply makes no sense to allow more prescribers with less clinical training to prescribe these powerful and addictive drugs,” she said.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on HB 1013 this week and the OSMA urges lawmakers to vote no.
Text of Full Survey Question
Health care professionals, such as nurses, chiropractors, specialty nurses and others in the field who did not graduate from medical school, have recently sought the ability to provide more services to patients. Some of these services include writing prescriptions for certain types of drugs, making a diagnosis without the oversight of a doctor, or any other of a broad range of issues that have historically been decisions made only by a medical doctor. From what you know about this issue, in general, do you favor or oppose expanding the scope of practice for health care professionals who are not medical doctors. (After response, ask:) Would you say you strongly (favor / oppose) expanding what services these non-doctors can provide or only somewhat (favor / oppose)?
23% Strongly Favor Expanding Scope of Practice for Non-Doctors
13% Somewhat Favor
12% Somewhat Oppose
45% Strongly Oppose Expanding Scope of Practice for Non-Doctors
For more information, contact:
Director of State Legislative Affairs
Oklahoma State Medical Association