Senate Bill 46 Passed Senate Health Committee16-Feb-2018
Senate Bill 46 Passed Senate Health Committee
Montgomery, Alabama, February 14, 2018: The Alabama Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously in support of Senate Bill 46 which authorizes certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs) and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) to have signature authority for medical forms within their scope of practice.
Alabama NPs treat thousands of patients each year. A disconnect between the legal authority of an NP to provide treatment and the recognition of an NP’s signature on forms to verify the care provided causes delays in services and increases healthcare costs. The signature authority bill aims to remove those delays and increase efficiency of healthcare services. “The Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama is extremely grateful for all of our partners in the healthcare community coming together in support of such an important bill.” said Robin Lawson, NPAA President.
According to America’s Health Rankings 2017, Alabama is ranked 47 out of the 50 US states for health outcomes. With 53 of Alabama’s 67 counties designated rural, Alabama must consider the critical healthcare needs of populations in these areas and encourage efforts to increase their access to care. The signature authority bill (SB46) establishes a historic precedence aimed at improving the State’s healthcare by allowing Alabama’s CRNPs and CNMs to sign forms such as those required for disabled parking placards, durable medical equipment, sports participation clearance, employment physicals, and other important forms pertaining to the provision of health care.
The passage of SB46 in the Alabama Senate Health and Human Services Committee is a huge first step in providing a solution to better meet the healthcare needs of Alabama citizens. The bill must now be referred to the full Senate for a vote. A companion bill will also need to be introduced and voted on by the House of Representatives. If the bill ultimately becomes law, it will lead to increased consumer access to care, reduced unnecessary healthcare costs, and improved health outcomes – especially in rural areas.