The success of OAAPN’s Modernization Bill, HB 216, is critical to our profession as well as the health of the communities we serve. This series highlights salient issues Ohio APRNs including CNPs, CNMs, CNSs, and CRNAs, experience each day, which can be resolved with the simple passing of HB 216. This is Pete’s story. Pete DiPiazza, APRN, BC-FNP is employed as a Director, Advanced Clinical Practice at OhioHealth’s Riverside Methodist Hospital. He is Co-chair, Ohio Action Coalition Scope of Practice. He also serves as Member of the Full Practice Authority. Additionally, he is owner of Healthy Alliance, LLC, an APRN business providing care to patients in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, independent living, and primary care offices.

Healthy Alliance LLC is an APRN owned and operated health care practice that provides care in a primary care office, hospital, independent and assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. We employ Medical Directors (one primary care and one internal medicine) to meet the requirements currently required by law to have a standard care arrangement. Healthy Alliance LLC provides care to over 15 thousand citizens of Ohio and serves a large number of Medicaid/Medicare insured.

As an APRN we are often the first provider to assess and diagnose the patient who is experiencing acute pain as a result of an injury or disease state. My education and training has taught me to provide the most appropriate treatment; often I will rely on biofeedback, physical therapy, heat/ice and non-opioid medicinal management to address my patient’s acute pain. Many times this works well; on occasion the injury is too severe or the disease state has progressed and the proven basics no longer are effective.

As an APRN we may prescribe scheduled II medications in the hospital and skilled nursing facility following certain parameters as outlined in the formulary. In the primary care office and independent assisted living facilities we can’t prescribe medications that may occasionally be needed for acute pain management because the practice is not physician owned. This makes no sense to our patients, their families or our colleagues. All our medications must be filled by a pharmacy, we are required to complete pharmacology continuing education specific to controlled substances for our license renewal and we must possess a DEA number. Why am I safe to prescribe in all settings if I am employed by a physician-owned or hospital-owned practice but NOT an APRN practice?  Is it ethically acceptable that I can manage my patients’ needs only when I am employed by a physician or hospital owned practice?

Do you have a story to share? Send a brief, hand-written note to your state representative in support of this legislation and be sure to contact OAAPN Communications Chair Cathy Hoffman by emailing crna91@gmail.com.