Under a tele-health bill approved by the House Subcommittee on Health Quality, advanced registered nurse practitioners would be able to practice independently of doctors. The measure is raising some concerns.
The bill sets up a regulatory structure for tele-health in Florida. It spells out who can treat patients remotely and who can’t. It also authorizes ARNP’s to practice independently without the supervision of a doctor. There was concern regarding lack of medical doctor oversight over nurse practitioners. Representative Cary Pigman explained an amendment to the bill that addresses qualification.
"But they would have had to have completed a certain number of hours of supervised practice," Pigman said. "They have to be not subject to any disciplinary action during the preceding 5 years, before submission of the application. And they need to complete a graduate level course in pharmacology."
The goal is more access to healthcare to Florida residents through the use of video/audio conferencing. Florida is about 6 thousand doctors short, and a state report also shows doctors are more concentrated in urban areas.