- Florida is set to follow nearly all the other U.S. states in expanding its prescribing authority to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances under legislation signed into law last week by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Forbes reports.
- According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Florida had been the only remaining state to prevent NPs from prescribing any controlled substances.
- According to the American Academy of PAs, with Florida now onboard, Kentucky is the last remaining state that prevents PAs from prescribing of controlled substances.
The move is expected to increase Floridians' access to care and to do it at a high value. While the legislation is effective as of this coming July 1, the impact is expected to come in early 2017 after practitioners “navigate procedural policies with the Drug Enforcement Administration,” the American Academy of PAs said in a prepared statement.
Supporters note the legislation comes after more than 10 years of advocacy.
According to Forbes, Florida has an estimated 25,000 NPs and PAs and will be counting on them to help serve the state's booming elderly population, particularly in underserved and rural areas of the state.
As part of that effort, the move especially supports value-based care models and retail-based healthcare like that offered by Walgreens, CVS Health, Walmart and Kroger, where NPs are the primary caregivers, Forbes notes.