NCMS members Dr. Timothy Reeder and Dr. Kristin Baker attend meeting of Senate Healthcare Committee

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Senate Health Care Committee met Wednesday morning with Senator Kevin Corbin presiding. Proposed revisions to House Bill 681 was considered.  The bill is sponsored by North Carolina Medical Society members Dr. Timothy Reeder and Dr. Kristin Baker, who were both in attendance.  Additional sponsors are Representatives Donny Lambeth and, Larry Potts, and Senators Jim Burgin, Senator Kevin Corbin, and Senator Joyce Krawiec, all Co-Chairs. Senator Jim Bergin of Harnett county proposed changes that drastically alter the substance of original bill.

The NCMS considers HB 681 revisions problematic for the following reasons:

Creates An Undefined Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners

  • The proposed PCS to HB 681 lacks clarity on nurse practitioner scope, allowing them to conduct surgery, interpret complex imaging, and manage patients with multiple chronic conditions without physician oversight.

Creates An Unsafe Practice Environment That Puts A Patient’s Safety at Risk

  • Lack of physician supervision compromises patient safety.  Nurse practitioners, with substantially less training than physicians, could treat severely ill patients with complex conditions under the proposed law.
  • A physicians’ rigorous training equips them to handle complex medical cases effectively.  If nurse practitioners are allowed to work without physician oversight it puts patients at risk of inadequate care if they have complicated conditions, raising the likelihood of misdiagnosis, treatment errors, and unnecessary testing.

Creates a Siloed and Inadequate Health care Delivery System

  • Removing physician supervision undermines team-based care. The proposed changes to HB 681 would allow nurse practitioners to work independently, eliminating collaboration among healthcare professionals and potentially leading to inferior health outcomes.

Creates Access To Care Barriers

  • HB 681 would drastically limit access to surgical care by reducing the number of anesthesiologist providers one anesthesiologist can supervise from four to one, the most extreme restriction in the nation. This could decrease safe surgical capacity statewide by up to 75%.

NCMS Chief Legal Officer Ashley Rodriguez says the meeting resulted in a win for members.  “It was a great hearing,” Rodriguez says, “with a great deal of acknowledgment that team-based care is best for patients and several positive references to prior authorization.”





The Senate Health Care Committee held the proposal up for continued discussion and a potential vote as early as next week.

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