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New York, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Delaware Become the latest States to Adopt Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners

Client Alert

While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly created many obstacles and hardships, it also created many opportunities to try doing things differently. This can be seen in the instant rise of remote work opportunities, telehealth visits, and virtual meetings. Many States took the challenges of the pandemic and turned them into an opportunity to adjust the regulations governing licensed professionals, including for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). 

On April 15, 2022, Kansas became the latest state to remove practice restrictions on nurse practitioners and allow them to practice completely independent of any regulatorily mandated contractual relationship with a physician. This was very shortly after similar changes were made in New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware. In total, 26 States, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Guam and Northern Mariana Islands) now permit nurse practitioners to practice without any mandated collaborative agreement or supervision. Many other States, including Ohio, are currently evaluating legislation to implement full practice authority for APRNs. A map illustrating the current position of all U.S. States and territories regarding full practice authority can be found here.

It should be noted that each full practice authority State is different with regards to the requirements to practice independently. For example, some States require a transition to practice period where the APRN practices under supervision or regulatory collaboration for a minimum period of time before being licensed to practice independently.

The trend towards adopting full practice authority for APRNs will have a direct impact on the number of patient care roles that will be filled by APRNs. Over the course of seven years (as reported in 2020), the number of nurse practitioners in the U.S. more than doubled. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor expects the number of jobs held by nurse practitioners, CRNAs, and certified nurse midwives to increase 45% between 2020 and 2030.

If you have questions about APRN practice rules or starting an APRN-driven business, please don’t hesitate to contact Jeana Singleton by email at: jmsingleton@bmdllc.com, or by phone at: (330) 253-2001 or another member of the Health Law Department at Brennan, Manna & Diamond.

Sweeping Changes Proposed for Federal Title IX Legislation

Monica B. Andress and Krista D. Warren

The Latest CMS Guidance: HIPAA Edition

Metaverse in the Workplace: What Do Employers Need to Know?

Emerging technologies are creating a host of new legal issues for employers. The rise of the metaverse has been one of the most anticipated expansions over the last few years. The metaverse is a virtual world that allows users to interact with each other in simulated environments. The metaverse in the workplace has been expanding rapidly as businesses explore the use of virtual reality and augmented reality to improve workflows and communication.

A Win for the Hospitals: An Update on the Latest 340B Lawsuit

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected massive payment cuts to hospitals under the 340B drug discount program. Now, the Department of Health and Human Services no longer has the discretion to change 340B reimbursement rates without gathering data on what hospitals actually pay for outpatient drugs. This “straightforward” ruling was based on the text and structure of the statute, per the Supreme Court. Simply put, because HHS did not conduct a survey of hospitals’ acquisition costs, HHS acted unlawfully by reducing the reimbursement rates for 340B hospitals.

New Office of Environmental Justice Announced

The profound impacts of climate change, combined with environmental and industrial pollutions, have led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). The creation of OEJ aligns with President Biden’s Executive Order Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. The OEJ will be led by Sharunda Buchanan, a former official for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and will target disadvantaged communities around the country in hopes of improving the health of those populations and preventing future harm.