The Medical Society of Virginia (MSV), Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) are jointly supporting a new statewide initiative to enhance health care organizational efforts to protect the mental and emotional well-being of health care professionals.
The initiative is being launched with support from the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation and a call to Virginia hospitals and health systems to remove one of the most substantial barriers physicians, nurses and other health care professionals face to their mental health and well-being: fear of losing their job because of overly broad and invasive mental health questions on credentialing applications that may be stigmatizing or cause reluctance to seeking appropriate treatment. The AMA strongly supports (PDF) this effort by the MSV, VHHA and VNA to revise these questions to focus on whether there is a current impairment as opposed to investigating whether there was a past diagnosis of a mental illness.
In a comment letter (PDF) to the New Jersey Legislature, the AMA expressed strong opposition to New Jersey S1522/A2286, which would allow advanced practice nurses to provide medical care, including prescribing medications, without any physician involvement and allow anesthesia or certified registered nurse anesthetists the ability to provide anesthesia care without any physician involvement after minimal hours of practice.
The letter outlined the following reasons for opposing this bill:
- Education matters: Patients want physicians involved in their diagnosis and treatment decisions.
- Increasing scope of practice of advanced practice nurses can lead to increased health care costs and lower quality of care.
- Scope expansions have not proven to increase access to care in rural areas.
- Physician supervision of anesthesia care is critically important to preserve the health and safety of patients.
While all health care professionals play a critical role in providing care to patients, patients deserve and have a right to have physicians leading their health care team. The current collaboration and supervision requirements in New Jersey law protect the health and safety of patients and ensure all patients have access to physician-led care.