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Nurse Practitioners: Part of the Solution to the Primary Care Physician Shortage

Florida has a primary care physician shortage.

Less than half of Florida physicians accept Medicaid

Half of Florida physicians will reach retirement age over the next ten years.

An estimated 3 million Floridians will be newly eligible for insurance coverage
and gain access to primary care in 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Another 1 million Floridians who are under the poverty level are potentially eligible for insurance, if they can afford the costs. They too need primary care.
Florida needs a cost effective, free market, creative solution to meet these needs.

Removing restrictive Nurse Practitioner licensure laws, has been demonstrated in other states to increase primary care access and reduce costs.

Less restrictive licensing also has shown an added benefit of attracting more Nurse Practitioners into a state, thus improving economic activity.

Almost half the states have stopped the practice of restricting NP licensure.
In order for Florida to fully take advantage of all the training and skills of Nurse Practitioners, certain legislation must be modernized.

DEA licensure for all Florida Nurse Practitioners (49 states allow for this)

Removal of continuing restrictive licensure requirements on Nurse Practitioners

Required empanelment of Nurse Practitioners by all Medicaid HMOs and insurance

Ability to sign a Baker Act

Ability to sign death certificates

Ability to certify DNR orders

Ability to sign all needed documents for patient care (global signature)

Review of and amend additional laws as appropriate

Research by the Institutes of Medicine and hundreds of other reputable studies have shown that
Nurse Practitioners who practice without restrictive licenses deliver safe, cost effective, high quality care, with equivalent outcomes to physicians.

Florida has an opportunity to embrace an economically viable, free market
solution to the primary care access problem, while at the same time improving the economic activity of the state.

The costs to Florida tax payers are nothing, while these changes could potentially save the state billions of dollars per year.

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