Important healthcare legislation the Bay Area Council has worked for the past year to pass cleared an important hurdle this week in the state Senate. Senate Bill 323 authored by state Sen. Ed Hernandez would allow nurse practitioners in California to practice to the full extent of their education and training. The Affordable Care Act significantly increased healthcare demand, but politics have bottled up the healthcare workforce supply, driving up costs. The Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee approved the bill on Monday (April 20). SB 323 now heads to the Appropriations Committee on May 4 and is likely to face still resistance from the California Medical Association. Granting full practice authority to nurse practitioners is one of the most effective steps that California can take to increase access to primary care services and improve quality of healthcare, while driving down costs. A study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute revealed that granting full practice authority would increase the number of nurse practitioners practicing in California by 24 percent, and expanding access to these services would yield $1.8 billion savings in the cost of preventative care visits alone in the first 10 years. To engage in the Council’s healthcare policy work, contact Policy Associate Emily Loper.

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