AANEM News Express

AANEM News Express

FTC Provides Scope of Practice Update

3/19/2012
 
The AANEM, along with other medical societies, have expressed concerns about the actions of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to limit state legislatures’ ability to regulate that certain procedures should be performed by physicians only.  The American Medical Association has requested to meet with FTC Commissioners and senior staff in late March and April to share concerns. The AANEM will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to members as they become available.    

In recent months, the FTC has reviewed and commented on scope of practice laws in Tennessee and Alabama, where advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) are prohibited from performing interventional pain procedures.  They also have commented on laws in Texas and Florida that limit diagnostic and prescription writing authority for APRNs. The FTC believes that scope of practice laws may reduce patient access to, and possibly increase the price of, health care services. While recognizing safety concerns may justify the regulation of health care professions, it is also the FTC’s opinion that state legislatures are engaging in anti-competitive behavior by passing laws to prohibit nonphysicians from performing certain procedures.

The FTC is an independent government agency with a dual mission: to protect consumers from fraudulent or deceptive claims and from harmful business practices that undermine the competitive process. The FTC has a long history of involvement in scope of practice issues.  FTC staff, typically at the request of a state legislator, use legal and economic expertise to analyze the likely impact of a law or regulation and summarize that impact in an advocacy letter to the legislator.


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