RX Prescribing Law Must Know Summary with Questions and Answers Update
After being one of the last bills to pass in the 2016 legislative session, The Barbara Lumpkin Act (over 20 years in the making) continues to move forward toward January 1, 2017, implementation date for HB 423.
The law allows for APRNs and PAs to prescribe controlled substances under existing supervision and protocol requirements:
- Prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances are limited to a seven (7)-day supply.
- Psychiatric medications prescribed by psychiatric APRNs are not limited by the seven (7)-day supply limitation and Psychiatric medications for patients younger than 18 years old may be prescribed only by psychiatric APRNs.
- There will be no negative formulary or further restrictions on ARNP controlled substance prescribing, beyond the Schedule II 7-day supply limitation and those provided in the statute. ARNP controlled substance prescribing will be dictated by the ARNP’s education, training and experience and by the protocol between the individual physician and the individual ARNP.
- The bill requires that as part of the existing continuing education requirements for APRNs, three (3) hours of continuing education every two years must be devoted to “the safe and effective prescription of controlled substances.” (AANA is expressly listed as an approved provider of continuing education.)
- The bill also states that APRNs must have graduated from a program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree in order to prescribe controlled substances.
- FANA was able to obtain an amendment that makes it clear that the formulary does not apply to controlled substances ordered by a CRNA for pre-anesthesia, anesthesia, and post-anesthesia purposes – in other words, the formulary will not limit the medications that CRNAs can order under current law.
- The bill adds several disciplinary provisions for APRNs to the Nurse Practice Act pertaining to prescribing controlled substances. These are the same as the disciplinary provisions that now apply to physicians.
New laws often raise questions that were discovered after the passage which need to be answered by the governing regulatory authority and this new law is no different. The FANA Board of Directors continues to receive questions and is in the process of working with its legal counsel, the Board of Nursing and other regulatory bodies, with other interested parties to answer a host of questions.
Question: Do I need to apply for a DEA number to prescribe controlled substances? When and how can this be done?
Answer: Yes. Anyone who prescribes controlled substances must apply for a DEA number. Once your application is approved, then you will be considered officially registered. You must wait until 1/1/17 to apply for a DEA number. Once you receive a DEA number, then you can begin prescribing controlled substances after that.
To apply for DEA number go to http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/index.html.
Question: Will there be additional CE requirements? When are they due?
Answer: Yes. As part of the 30 hours of continuing education currently required, ARNPs are required to do three (3) hours of continuing education on controlled substance prescribing prior to each license renewal in order to maintain their license. This is a license requirement for all ARNPs despite whether or not you plan on prescribing controlled substances. The 3 hours is also required whether or not an ARNP is exempt from other continuing education requirements. You need to check when your state license renewals are due, but usually they are in either April or July of the year your license is due to expire.
Question: Where can I obtain these CE hours and do they need to be completed before the January 1, 2017, effective date to prescribe?
Answer: CE Programs are in development. The Florida Nurse Practitioner Network is working with the Florida Hospital Association on a program, and the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners is working on a program. The Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists is also looking into a program option for its members. Stay tuned for updates on all of these options. The 3-hour CE requirement does not need to be completed prior to being able to prescribe controlled substances on 1/1/17. ARNPs just need to have a DEA license by then. Once again, the 3-hour CE requirement is just due upon renewal of your ARNP state license.
Question: If I don’t plan to prescribe controlled substances. Do I need to complete the CE?
Answer: Yes. The 3-hour CE requirement for controlled substance prescribing is mandatory for renewal of all Florida state ARNP licenses regardless of whether or not you plan on prescribing controlled substances.
FANA will keep you apprised of all developments. Be sure to“like” the FANA Facebook page and check the FANA website for updates. Passage of this legislation has been a FANA priority – allowing ARNP and PA professionals to practice to the full extent of their education, training, and certification.