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Kentucky Senate backs prescriptive authority for nurse practitioners

Louisville Senator Julie Raque Adams 2-24-23
KET screenshot
Louisville Senator Julie Raque Adams 2-24-23

The current session of the General Assembly has helped clarify the role of nurse practitioners in Kentucky. Physicians and nurse practitioners came to an agreement on prescriptive authority for NPs. The result was Senate Bill 94, which earned overwhelming support Friday. Louisville Senator Julie Raque Adams is credited with helping to broker the agreement.

“One of the very exciting things that Senate Bill 94 does is strengthen the transparency and accountability of the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances by all providers authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances,” said Raque Adams.

Supporters stressed the collaborative agreement between doctors and nurse practitioners would increase access to needed medications and care.

Adams said oversight for all prescriptions would come through a new Controlled Substances Prescribing Council. Leitchfield Senator Stephen Meredith told his colleagues this could be the beginning of a new relationship between physicians and nurses.

The measure easily passed with 30 yes votes, two no, and one pass.

One no-vote came from Jessamine County Senator and Doctor Donald Douglas. He said he’s had concerns about what he termed “clinical creep.”

“Are we going to start seeing this in the dental areas? Are we going to start seeing our dental assistants saying, wait a minute, I’ve assisted this dentist, I should be able to do these things. We’re already seeing that in a number of different places in the health care system,” said Douglas.

Also voting no was Pike County Senator Phillip Wheeler who expressed concern about the potential for increased prescribing of opioids. The Pikeville lawyer said if he could restrict the prescribing of doctors more on painkillers and narcotics, he would do it today.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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