The Problem:

Nearly 1.5 million Ohioans lack necessary access to vital primary care services. In fact, the federal government has designated 159 healthcare provider shortage areas across the Buckeye state, meaning that just 55% of patient need is met. Under Ohio law, APRNs are unable to practice without mandatory physician contracts – known as a “Standard Care Arrangement.” Far from professional collaboration, this contract requires APRNs to submit a subset of their patient charts to a physician for review bi-annually for “quality assurance” and pay a fee to a physician as a condition of practice. In many cases, no actual collaboration regarding patient care occurs between the contracted physicians and APRNs.

The Solution:

  • The time has come for the Ohio legislature to remove mandatory legal physician collaboration for APRNs to ensure patients can have access to the provider of their choice. 
  • Doing so will serve to expand Ohioans’ access to care by allowing more than 16,000 APRNs across our state to practice the full extent of their training statewide - especially in primary care shortage areas.
  • According to a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (February 2018), physicians tend to practice in more affluent areas with already high life expectancy, while nurse practitioners tend to treat patients where they are most needed.
  • As Ohio faces the challenges of an aging population, rising healthcare costs and the growing burden of chronic disease, APRNs bring strength to the healthcare workforce and our laws regarding practice rights should reflect this opportunity.