KANSAS Bill Improves Path to Independence for Nurse Practitioners

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, April 22, 2022

Bill Name: House Bill 2279 (HB 2279) 

Primary Sponsor: Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare

Status: 4/15/2022 Signed into law by governor.

AmSpa’s Take: Independent Practice for nurse practitioners is already the rule in the majority of states. The early-adopting states have already shown the benefits of independent practice, so it is just a matter of time before this trend reaches the last few states.  
Analysis: Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Kansas currently practice in collaboration with a supervising physician. Their ability to prescribe medications is controlled by a written protocol with the physician. HB 2279 removes this requirement, both for the relationship and the written protocol. Under this new law, NPs can prescribe, procure and administer drugs and medications consistent with their role and population focus. This can include controlled substances when prescribed in compliance with the uniform controlled substances act. It is important to note that this new prescriptive authority does not include the ability to dispense medications. This means that any medication not directly administered to the patient by the NP will need to be filled through a pharmacist, though NPs may distribute professional samples to patients.

As part of removing the physician supervision requirements for NP practice, HB 2279 also requires NPs to carry their own malpractice coverage. The amount of coverage is not specified in the law, and there are a few exceptions to coverage. As is often the case with new changes in law, there are some elements that are left to the nursing board to define. It is likely that the board will adopt rules on the level of insurance needed and any other requirements to licensure.  

The majority of states have already provided NPs with the ability to practice independently; with the passage of HB 2279, Kansas becomes the newest state to do so. While not specifically mentioned in the law, independent practice generally means that an NP can open and own their clinic and provide services within their scope of practice, possibly including many aesthetic medical spa treatments. If you would like to read the final language of the bill, you can find it by clicking this link