Florida Bill That Would Ease Physician/Nurse Practitioner Supervisory Requirements Would Benefit States’ Health Care Consumers

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has sent comments to Florida State Representative Daphne Campbell, at her request, regarding House Bill (H.B) 4103, which would remove some of the constraints on the supervisory arrangements between doctors and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) that are now required under Florida law. According to the comments, the proposed bill appears to represent a pro-competitive improvement in the law – one that is likely to benefit Florida health care consumers.

H.B. 4103 would rescind certain restrictive supervision requirements for ARNPs and physician assistants in Florida that were adopted in 2006, while retaining the general supervision requirements that predate the 2006 legislation. According to the FTC staff’s comments, the 2006 legislation imposed administrative costs and other restrictions on doctors who supervise ARNPs. By removing some of these restrictions, H.B. 4103 is likely to reduce the costs of basic health care services provided by ARNPs, and some of those cost savings may be passed on to Florida health care consumers. In addition, the bill would make it easier for health care providers to offer basic health care through ARNP-staffed clinics. For those reasons, the FTC staff agrees with the Florida Department of Health, which found that H.B. 4103 “would allow more access to healthcare.”

The Commission vote approving the staff comments was 5-0. They were sent to Florida State Representative Campbell on March 23, 2011. Copies of the comments can be found now on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. V110004; the staff contact is Daniel J. Gilman, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-3136.)

Copies of the document mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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(FYI 17.2011.wpd)