Information about the Colorado Nurse Practice Act & Prescriptive Authority

Posted over 4 years ago by Julia Hauer

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A New Year has started and soon we will be into a new Colorado Legislative session. Again this year, your support will be needed to ensure that the gains we made for patient access to efficient and timely care continues. Here is a quick update on two current issues and related actions that you can take now.



The rule hearing for Prescriptive Authority will be Wednesday, January 27th at 1pm at the Dept of Regulatory Agencies. All interested APNS are invited to attend the hearing. Representatives from the Colorado Nurses Association and other nursing organizations will be there to present information--along with other stakeholder groups. Once adopted, the new rules become effective July 1, 2010.

ACTION: Preview a copy of the proposed rules on the BON website





Governor Ritter’s budget proposal calls for a 1% reduction in payments across the board to all Medicaid providers AND an ADDITIONAL 10% reduction in reimbursement for all APN and PA services (paying APN and PA providers 90% of the physician reimbursement rate). The proposal has been turned over to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) and will be voted on during the legislative session. We believe that this provider-specific cut will capture significantly less than the $600,000 of savings that is projected and will unnecessarily disrupt patient services through decreased access, increased delays in care, and effective utilization of healthcare resources—and are we working to share these concerns with legislators and propose an alternatives that would ensure that the Medicaid system sees the needed financial assistance required to continue to care for vulnerable populations AND would help limit disruptions to patient care.

See the attached letter that was shared with the Governor’s office and the JBC once we learned of the proposed cuts.

▪ Studies continue to show that the care provided by APNs has the same (and occasionally higher) quality, outcomes and patient satisfaction ratings when compared to similar services provided by physicians.  


1. Share news of this proposed cut with your billing associates and practice. We are learning that news of this proposal has not been well shared with the provider community, and believe that other stakeholder groups may wish to oppose this provider-specific cut..

2. Refresh your knowledge regarding “incident to” billing requirements (for a start, see the details in the attachment).

3. Email back information on how this proposed reduction would impact your practice setting and your services to Medicaid patients. We have already heard of a case where the care of patients requiring diabetes management would be altered at one practice; and of another practice where the NPs would no longer be have scheduled Medicaid patients. It is these daily patient care changes that we need to share with legislators.  

4. Stay tuned…we will likely need to send emails directly to committee members and legislators on this issue.



Meeting agendas, minutes and details on upcoming meetings are available on the DORA website at Interested APNs are encouraged to attend.



The Legislative session starts this Wednesday, and there will be numerous bills that will impact our patients and our ability to meet their needs. Our teamwork and dedication over the last two years paved the way for improved patient access to care and for a more effective and efficient healthcare community in Colorado…the 2010 session looks like it will need our united efforts again. Thank you for partnering with the APN Listserv and taking time to advocate for our patients in the policy arena.


-Tay Kopanos, NP

Colorado Nurses Association

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