PUBLIC HEARING REPORT
Dear Followers of NPAA:
To start with, forgive me for the long email, but please read carefully as I have a lot of important information in this message.
I am pleased to report that the Public Hearing for the Controlled Substances Rules held yesterday in Montgomery was very positive. Several CRNPs attended. The outcome of the hearing is as follows:
Addendums to the Rules will include language that clarifies that any nurse operating within his or her duties as a RN who also happens to be a CRNP will not face sanctions. As an example, any nurse who may be asked to apply a Fentanyl patch could do so as it is ordered by the physician and as a RN they are authorized to do so if operating under their scope of practice as an RN -even if they happen to be a CRNP. Ian Burge, CRNP from Mobile attended the meeting and provided public comments on the record regarding concern. He did an excellent job representing the issue and was well received by all who were in attendance.Mr. Larry Dixon, Executive Director went on the record to assure all who attended that the new law is in no way is meant to ever cause more restrictions. Further, he stated that should anyone see that happening in their practice they should immediately notify the Board of Medical Examiners in Montgomery.
Upon conclusion of the meeting, leadership of NPAA who attended the meeting met with leadership of the BME and formally requested the establishment of a task force between representatives from the PA Association, BME, CNM Association and NPAA to continue discussions about policy that guides the practice of prescribing for controlled substances. For example, the rules are not specific about what length of time each schedule may be written for. As a general practice most physicians limit many of the controlled substances they write prescriptions for- some only write for one month- while some write for up to three months. PAs may only write for one month of any III-V medication however they have asked to revisit that policy. Considering the BME is now faced with establishing the policy for CRNPs and CNMs of Alabama, NPAA believes inclusion of all groups during establishment and revision of the policy would be a more prudent use of everyone’s time. Does this mean all will be the same? Not necessarily and probably not. There are many issues to consider including the differences in practices etc. As we move forward, you will be kept updated on the progress that is being made.
IMPORTANT!!!- Please remember when we negotiated to get Schedule II into the legislation this year it was with the understanding that we would not move forward with the implementation of rules for IIs until all was ironed out with the use of III-V. The BME has assured the NPAA that they will revisit the issue within 12-18 months and will first work on rules as they relate to Psych and Hospice NPs. WIthout agreeing to this, we would have had to leave IIs out. NPAA felt that it was better to do this than have to go back to through the legislative process a second time. We ask for your patience as we continue the negotiations.
For now, it appears and was announced by Mr. Dixon that the BME is on track to begin accepting applications for the QACSC http://www.albme.org/cscapp.html will begin Oct 1, 2013. If you have attended one of the CME offerings prior to that date and you apply on that date, you may expect if all goes accordingly to be writing the prescriptions soon after October 1, 2013. Mr. Dixon reported yesterday that all who have attended the CME offerings will begin getting the BME newsletters so they can stay abreast of happenings related to issues surrounding Controlled Substances in Alabama. Additionally, NPAA has formally requested that the BME put a mechanism in place so that should any medication go from a less restrictive category to a more restrictive category that an email blast be sent out to all NPs who hold a QACSC. Mr. Dixon assured us the BME would be cooperative in this matter and he would bring it to the attention of his board at their next meeting.
For now, that is all. Should you have further comment or suggestions to assist in this process, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely,Joy P. Deupree, PhD, MSN, APRN-BCPresident, NPAA