WONDERFUL NEWS! SB 2255 passed out of the Senate Licensing Committee this morning unanimously!!! This is truly remarkable and it could never have been done without the finesse and Herculean efforts of ISAPNs lobbyist, Sue Clark.
Section 65/40: Prescriptive authority (with a WCA) changed to expand Schedule II authority (with a WCA).
o Only APNs who have completed 45 CONTACT HOURS of graduate level pharmacology (Illinois standard) and maintain 5 CE credits in pharmacology annually may receive authority to prescribe Schedule II medications. (Note: These are contact hours, not credit hours; 45 contact hours is the equivalent of a 3 semester-hour course, which is typical of APN programs these days). All APNs who currently have DEA/Mid-level prescribing authority are initially 'grandmothered.' Once law, then new graduates will need to prove the graduate hours for Schedule II authority, and all APNs will need 5 CEs/year in pharmacology for licensure renewal.
o ANY oral, transdermal, or topical Schedule II drugs may be delegated. No injectable or other forms of administration are authorized.
o Schedule II drugs may be listed by either brand or generic names.
Section 65/45: APN practice in hospital or ASTC
o All APNs with hospital or ASTC with clinical privileges may practice and prescribe outside the hospital OR A HOSPITAL AFFILIATE, without a WCA.
o APNs practicing in hospitals or ASTCs may order all meds, Schedule II-V , within that setting if privileged to do so. Also new: An Illinois controlled substance license and DEA number are not needed for such practice.
o Hospital and ASTC APNs (without a WCA) may write discharge prescriptions with the discharging physician (meaning the physician's name must also be on the script.)
OK, now all of you have something else to doâ€”and it isnâ€™t hard. All you have to do is CALL your state senator ASAP (no later than end of business on Tuesday, May 24). And the other good news is that when you call the senatorâ€™s office, chances are you will simply be leaving a message with the senatorâ€™s staff, which means that it is unlikely that you will need to get into lengthy discussions about the details of the bill. In fact, hereâ€™s a script for you.
APN: Hello, my name is ___ and I am one of the Senatorâ€™s constituents who lives in ___ (your hometown). I would like to leave a message for the Senator about a bill that I hope (he or she) will support when it comes to the Senate floor.
Senatorâ€™s Staff: And what bill is that?
APN: SB 2255, its title is "the Nurse Act-Prescribing Schedule II.â€ I would like the Senator to know that this bill has been agreed upon by the Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Hospital Association, and Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, and was passed out of the Senate Licensed Activities Committee unanimously.
Senatorâ€™s Staff: All right, Iâ€™ll give the Senator the message.
As I said, chances are that is all you have to do (except say "thank you" and good-bye" politely). This is a case where the compelling argument is not the content of the bill, but that three well-know health care organizations are ALL supporting the bill. However, if the staff person wants to take your telephone number, I do hope you will give him/her you cell number or whatever number is best to reach you. Once in a while legislators do really want to connect with their constituents.
This is one of the easiest tasks I have asked you to do this legislative session. You donâ€™t have to visit or write letterâ€”just make a phone call, preferably to the senatorâ€™s Springfield office. I urge all of you to replicate the passion and advocacy that was taken by APNs in Illinois in 1998 when we were able to change our practice act to acknowledge that APNs actually existed in Illinois and give us prescriptive authority. That was 13 years ago, it's time to take more steps forward.
Assuming the bill gets passed by the Senate, it will go to the House for passage. When that happens, you will be hearing from me again about what action to take. In the meantime, CALL YOUR STATE SENATORS STAT! Thank you for your advocacy efforts and thank you to everyone who have already contacted their legislators this session.
Once again, if you still do not know who your state (Springfield) senator is, you can:
1. Go to www.ilga.gov
2. Scroll down on the column on the right under "Additional Resources.â€
3. Click on "Legislator Lookup,â€ which will take you to a State Board of Elections screen.
4. Fill out the boxes on that screen, which will take you to another screen.
5. On that new screen, find the names of the people with the following titles: State Senator and State Representative. Clicking on each personâ€™s name will take you to a page with their contact information. A personal meeting is ideal (if there is time), but faxing a letter is great, too. If you have time for nothing else, then make a phone call, preferably to their Springfield office.
DO NOT contact anyone whose title begins with "U.S.â€! Those are the people who serve us in Washington and they are not involved in state practice act legislation.
And, once again, if you think you need to be reminded about the contents of the bill, here they are (although again, you probably will need to only stick to the script above):
Section 65/35: Written Collaborative Agreement (WCA) changed to clarify:
o If the collaborating physician or podiatrist does NOT employ an APN, then the WCA (written collaborative agreement) may not limit the APN's patient mix by third party payor. For example: If the APN desires to expand a Medicaid-eligible panel, the WCA cannot prohibit this expansion if the APN is employed separately from the collaborating physician.
o Monthly meetings between the physician/podiatrist would no longer have to be in person (face-to-face. A phone call, Skype, etc. is fine.
o Delegation may take any form: oral, written, or electronic.
o Authorized services under the WCA need only to be general, NOT SPECIFIC TASKS OR DUTIES that the collaborating physician/podiatrist provide. For example, if an APN has expertise in joint injections, but the physician desires to not perform such injections personally, the APN may do so if authorized in the WCA.