The readers’ forum

Improving access to quality healthcare

 

Recenty the Florida House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation approved a bill to allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to change their professional title to align with national standards, the ability to practice independently from supervisory protocols with physicians, and controlled substance privilege rights.

I applaud the work of the House committee to create a piece of legislation in line with the needs of the people of Florida to have access to affordable, quality healthcare. This legislation may be novel to Floridians, but it’s not uncommon on a national level. I understand that there may be many misconceptions, so I would like to take a moment to address some of them.

• There is a plethora of scientific research that supports that NPs give the same level of quality care, without sacrificing safety, as compared to their physician counterparts in the same environments.

• According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and echoed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are over 15 states in the country where NPs have full practice authority with no increased safety risks and increased access to quality care.

• There are 49 states, Florida is the only state excluded, where NPs can prescribe controlled substances with similar safety profiles as physicians.

• There is a primary care physician shortage and health care access issue in Florida. NPs are competent, highly-trained, and ready to help alleviate these issues.

• Studies show that supervisory protocol agreements are burdensome and do not improve care for patients, rather only hinder it.

• NPs follow the same guidelines and collaborate with the specialists, just like primary care physicians. This is part of their training and duty to patients.

• Allowing NPs to enter the healthcare marketplace as independent practitioners, will improve access to quality healthcare, while not sacrificing safety. It is likely that the cost of healthcare will also be improved as competition increases.

I urge everyone to contact their legislators and impress upon them the need for better access to affordable, quality healthcare. Nurse Practitioners are competent, safe, and fully trained to participate in serving your primary care needs. Please support this legislation to establish independent nurse practitioner practice.

Thomas Schlepko, board certified family nurse practitioner, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    We knew PAMM would need help

    Re Dusty Melton’s Sept. 12 Other Views column, PAMM shouldn’t get public funding: Consistently, both the public and private supporters of the Pérez Art Museum Miami have made explicit disclosure that additional operating support would be necessary to support a brilliant, larger museum.

  • Save on energy costs

    Florida’s unrelenting heat is often felt in our utility bills. In addition to finding ways to decrease your energy use, you may want to consider products and appliances that use less energy and water. An upcoming tax-free holiday on many energy-efficient appliances and water-saving products will help you do just that. This tax-free holiday runs from Sept. 19-21.

  • Passport to ride

    On Sept. 12, letter writer, Golden Passport misuse, Floreal de la Garza wrote regarding the fare-free Golden Passport program. I would like to clarify some of the claims made about this program, which benefits so many in our community. The Golden Passport program that existed prior to the approval of the People’s Transportation Plan in 2002 had an income requirement. Under the current Golden Passport program, a permanent Miami-Dade resident who is 65 years of age or older is eligible to receive a Golden Passport, regardless of income. Permanent Miami-Dade residents who are Social Security beneficiaries, regardless of age, also qualify.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category