House approves bill to increase Oklahomans’ access to health car - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

House approves bill to increase Oklahomans’ access to health care

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK–The House of Representatives has passed a measure aimed at improving access to health care services across Oklahoma.

House Bill 1013 would eliminate the outdated and unnecessary requirement that nurse practitioners sign a collaborative agreement with a physician.

“This is a great step toward improving access to health care services for all Oklahomans,” said Toni Pratt-Reid, president of the Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners (AONP). “Nurse practitioners, who have masters or doctorate degrees, have the education and training needed to do more to address the critical health care shortage in our state.”

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 64 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties are designated as primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). More than 58 percent of Oklahomans live in a primary care HPSA. The state ranks 49th in physician-patient ratio.

“Studies have shown that patients who see a nurse practitioner have health outcomes as good as those who see a physician. Studies also show that NPs are more likely to work in rural areas,” Pratt-Reid said. “Many of the states that rank highest in health rankings give nurse practitioners full practice authority, so we are pleased that the legislature is giving this issue serious consideration this year.”

HB 1013 now moves on to consideration by the Senate.

Information provided by Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners. 

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