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Scope of Practice Bills Introduced During the 2018 Session

State legislators have introduced more than 80 bills so far this year relating to scope of practice for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists, dental therapists, community health workers, community paramedics and peer support specialists. Maryland, Virginia and Washington legislatures have introduced bills outlining training and certification standards for community health workers. Bills pending in … Continued

Updates to Scope of Practice Policy: What’s Coming in 2018?

ScopeofPracticePolicy.org will have exciting new additions launching in 2018. A new page featuring behavioral health providers will include clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, and both nurse practitioners and physician assistants who practice in a psychiatry specialty. The nurse practitioner (NP) and physician assistant (PA) pages will feature new maps highlighting state laws and regulations around … Continued

Scope of Practice Policy Celebrates 1 Year

February marks the one year anniversary of the ScopeofPracticePolicy.org website, an important national resource for state policymakers about scope of practice issues for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists and dental therapists. The site features 11 interactive maps for policy areas such as supervision requirements and prescriptive authority. The website continues to track legislation, detailing … Continued

Two Dozen Scope of Practice Laws Enacted in 2017

ScopeofPracticePolicy.org tracked a total of 139 bills during the 2017 legislative session. Thirty-seven bills were enacted into law from 24 states, including 13 bills related to oral health providers, 12 bills related to nurse practitioners and 15 bills related to physician assistants. There are currently three bills awaiting a governor’s signature. Oral Health Provider Legislation … Continued

Dental Hygienists and Dental Hygiene Therapists in Maine

In 2016, Maine enacted a new Dental Practice Act establishing the scope of practice for dental hygienists and dental therapists. The law outlines education and training requirements, prescriptive authorities, and supervision requirements for these and other oral health professions. Maine’s Board of Dental Practice is a state regulatory agency established to protect the public through … Continued

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Provision of Medication-Assisted Treatment

A provision of the federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S. Code § 823(g)(2)) allows qualified physicians to request a waiver for prescribing and dispensing buprenorphine, one of three FDA-approved medication-assisted treatments (MAT). MAT combines counseling and behavior therapy with medication to provide safer, comprehensive treatment of opioid use disorders. More than 35,000 physicians have received … Continued

Physician Assistants and Collaboration

Earlier this year, New Mexico amended its Medical Practice Act to allow collaborative practice relationships between physician assistants (PAs) and licensed physicians (HB 215). The changes to the law allow PAs who practice primary care to collaborate with a licensed physician but require PAs who practice specialty care to be supervised by a licensed physician. … Continued

Scoping Out Health Care Worker Shortages

In areas where there are not enough doctors and nurses to keep up with the demand for their services such as rural and underserved urban areas—state legislators are broadening the roles of some licensed health professionals through scope of practice laws. Supporters say expanding the authority of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists and other … Continued

Legislative Update on Scope of Practice Bills

State legislators have introduced at least 115 bills in 2017 legislative sessions relating to scope of practice for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists and dental therapists. Eight bills have been signed into law. Some examples include: South Dakota now allows nurse practitioners to practice independently from a physician. Washington has authorized dental therapists to … Continued

Recent State Scope of Practice Changes

Two states recently changed their scope of practice laws. Legislation in Washington state recognizes dental therapists and South Dakota law now allows nurse practitioners full independent practice authority. Washington becomes the fifth state to recognize dental therapists as an oral health provider. Other states include Alaska, Maine, Minnesota and Vermont. The new legislation in Washington … Continued