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Prescribing Psychologists: Still Unsafe for Patients

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

We knew it would happen this way: A last-minute amendment hurried out in the hope no one would read it too carefully. But despite some new window dressing, HFA #2 to SB 2187 – which would allow psychologists to prescribe – still fails to protect patients.

Among the dangers in the new bill:

    Inadequate Training & Education: House Floor Amendment #2 to SB 2187 does not require psychologists to complete medical education and training equal to that of an advanced practice nurse (APN) or physician assistant (PA). APNs and PAs have earned the confidence of physicians to work together through collaborative and supervisory agreements.
    A Woefully Insufficient “Conditional License”: Real clinical training programs involve multiple health professionals who expose trainees to all types of patients, including geriatric patients, children, adolescents, and pregnant women, and do so in a variety of medical settings, including the emergency room.
    Does Not Improve Access: HFA #2 to SB 2187 will not improve access to mental health services. It makes no provisions for telepsychiatry or integrated care, nor does it feature programs to cross-train psychologists in medical schools. In the two states that allow some psychologists to prescribe – Louisiana and New Mexico – less than 10% have pursued prescriptive authority.

To date, four Illinois newspapers have editorialized against SB 2187: the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Rockford Register Star and the Lake County News-Sun. This bill was written to benefit psychologists – not patients. Tell your representative to vote NO, and visit http://coalitionforpatientsafety.com.

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