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Health care is in the forefront of most people’s minds these days. Did you know that here in North Carolina we have the chance to save between $433 million and $4.3 billion every year in health care by doing one thing? Yes, one thing!

The North Carolina legislature can save our state and residents potentially millions of dollars per year by voting to remove barriers that prevents advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners, from being able to function to the fullest extent of their education.

The SAVE (Safe, Accessible, Value directed and Excellent health care) Act (House Bill 185/Senate Bill 143) looks to remove the outdated rules of physician supervision imposed on the four types of advanced practice registered nurses. This supervision or oversight does not affect our scope of practice but affects how we practice.

Most patients who receive care from a nurse practitioner are none the wiser that they have a “supervising physician” since the nurse practitioner can assess, diagnosis, order tests and treat just as their physician colleague is able to. Patients are none the wiser that this physician is paid money every year to perform this oversight even though they are seldom engaged with the nurse practitioner outside of the twice a year mandated “meeting” that can occur via telephone or email. Many overseeing physicians are not even located in the same office as the nurse practitioner yet can receive over $10,000 per year per practitioner they provide “supervision” for.

Help me to help you and others in our community and around our beautiful state. Our N.C. legislators need to hear that we demand better access to care and the best way to accomplish this task is to pass the SAVE Act.

Trixy M. Headden