Nurse practitioners work in every corner of Kentucky, and are keenly aware of what goes into the state's disturbing health statistics. Kentucky ranks among the worst in the nation for diabetes, obesity and cancer, and unfortunately also ranks poorly regarding the number of practicing primary care physicians. This is not a good combination when it comes to those who need care.
There are many regions across the state where a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife is the only full time primary care provider. In light of these disturbing trends, a goal should be set to expand and improve access to healthcare. We are fortunate to have a large number of high quality health care providers in this area, but those of us providing services for people who have little or not health insurance see all too clearly the need to reduce obstacles to care.
As access to health care grows more difficult for people due to increased insurance costs and economic hardships, it is important to do all we can to reduce barriers to services. In order for a nurse practitioner to write prescriptions in Kentucky a prescribing agreement must be on file. This is a formality currently necessary in the state. It doesn't require physicians to see the patient, consult with the nurse practitioner or be liable for care. It's simply a piece of paper that must be signed in order for the nurse practitioner to write prescriptions for medications.
Nurse practitioners across the state have been providing high quality care, including prescribing medications for nearly 20 years and believe access to health care can be improved by removing this obstacle.
Please ask your legislators to support Senate Bill 51 to remove this paperwork requirement and improve access to health care for everyone.
Eva Stone, APRN
Julianne Ewen, APRN
President, Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives