There is a very lively debate happening in Pennsylvania right now regarding SB 1063.
On March 13, 2014, lehighvalleylive.com published an article describing SB 1063 as well as opposing views: Pennsylvania nurse practitioner bill would allow them to practice without doctors' oversight. Interestingly, this article including a poll: would you visit a nurse practitioner for your primary care visits? As of today, 72% answered yes and 28% answered no. Scot Chadwick, legislative counsel for the Pennsylvania Medical society claims that SB 1063 is not in the best interest of patient safety. He should be directed to Newhouse et al.
On April 23, 2014, Lorraine Bock, President of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners wrote a guest ediotroal for The Sentinel: A simple answer for Sadler problem. Lorraine responds to the concern that Sadler Health Center is unable to meet the growing need for primary care services in the Carlisle community. The solution? Lorraine asserts, "freeing nurse practitioner from regulatory barriers--- These highly qualified professionals have been providing care throughout the United States for more than 40 years, and we are fully trained, highly capable and eager to help meet the demand created by the primary care workforce shortage affecting Pennsylvania today."
On April 29, 2014, David Wenner wrote Nurse Practitioners: Unshackle Us From Doctors which summarized SB 1063 and opened discussion on PennLive.com
On April 30, 2014, Christen Smith, a staff reporters for Capitol Wire wrote an summary of the main tennats of the Putting Patient's First campaign: Nurse practitioners say they want to bypass physician oversight to provide greater healthcare access. This article recognizes, "17 states and Washington D.C. have already outlawed collaborative agreements and doing the same in Pennsylvania will cut costs, attract new healthcare companies and shrink a provider gap exacerbated by the influx of newly-insured under the Affordable Care Act." As of May 13, 2014, there are 19 states that acknowledge the independent practice of NPs.
On May 7, 2014, Bruce Macleod, the President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society responded in a letter to the editor:
Nurse practitioners are great, but don't need to be 'unshackled.' Macleod attests that the collaborative agreement between NPs and physicians is necessary because nurse practitioners have less education. He also cites a former nurse now medical student: "when you train to be a nurse they train you in 'how.' When you train to be a physician, you are trained in 'why.'"
On May 13, 2014, Sandra Abbey thoughtfully responded to Macleod: Doctors should know, nurse practitioners can work independently. Sandra responds respectfully but fiercely to the common misconceptions about NP education and teamwork. Eloquently summarized, "You don’t have to take my word for it. Team-based care is alive and well in the 17 other states where nurse practitioners already have full practice authority. Doctors and nurse practitioners work together effectively in those states and we’ll always work together for Pennsylvania patients."
On May 12, 2014, Sue Schrand, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners was interviewed by WITF Smart Talk regarding SB 1063. She provides an excellent summary of the positive impact this bill could have on health care access for Pennsylvania residents.