A Word of Caution to State Legislators from the FTC

State Legislators should carefully evaluate proposals to limit Advanced Practice Nurse’s scope of practice.

Please read the update sent from the American Nurse Association.


On Friday, March 7, the FTC issued a staff paper approved by the Commission 4-0, titled
The release stated, “Federal Trade Commission staff has issued a policy paper suggesting that state legislators should be cautious when evaluating proposals to limit the scope of practice of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). By limiting the range of services APRNs may provide and the extent to which they can practice independently, such proposals may reduce competition that benefits consumers.”, the paper states.

“Even well-intentioned laws and regulations may impose unnecessary, unintended, or overbroad restrictions on competition, thereby depriving health care consumers of the benefits of vigorous competition.” the staff policy paper states.

The policy paper, called Policy Perspectives: Competition and the Regulation of Advanced Practice Nurses, notes the potential benefits of improved competition in the provision of primary health care services.

While addressing APRN practice, this policy paper could speak to the broader scope of practice for all registered nurses. RNs typically do not contend with the legislative/regulatory barriers imposed upon APRNs; however, organizational culture and institutional policy may arbitrarily restrict RN practice and care. “Improved collaboration and coordination among all health care providers is a fundamental goal of many health care quality and cost-containment initiatives.”

“The policy paper is part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to promote competition in the health care sector, which benefits consumers through lower costs, better care, and more innovation.”

In addition, ANA staff will be in attendance at the Federal Trade Commission’s public workshop, “Examining Health Care Competition,” on March 20-21, 2014, to study certain activities and trends that may affect competition in the evolving health care industry. The workshop will explore current developments related to:

professional regulation of health care providers;
innovations in health care delivery;
advancements in health care technology;blogANALogo measuring and assessing health care quality;
price transparency of health care services.

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach Andrea Brassard at andrea.brassard@ana.org or April Canter at april.canter@ana.org.