Dear Kansas ACNM Member,
The Kansas House of Representatives is currently considering legislation, H.B. 2066, that would help advance full practice authority for certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the state by removing costly and antiquated regulatory barriers hindering APRN practice.
Maternal and infant health in the United States is in a state of crisis. Estimated U.S. rates of maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, preterm birth, infant mortality, and low birth weight are the highest among high-income nations. Large disparities exist in these areas and in such pregnancy outcomes as preterm birth rates and in obstetric care, across racial and ethnic lines. While there is no single factor to blame for this abysmal trend, we do know that many women reside in maternity care deserts where the delivery of quality and timely maternal and prenatal care is not accessible. In fact, 56% of the counties in the U.S. don’t have a single certified nurse-midwife and approximately 70% of counties in Kansas DO NOT have maternal child health providers. This is unacceptable.
Shortages of maternity care providers cause serious public health concerns for women, children, and families when they are forced to endure long wait times for routine visits or fail to receive adequate care before, during, and after pregnancy. This is a public health crisis. Studies show that CNMs and other APRNs, when allowed to practice to the full extent of their education, training, accreditation, and experience, can help improve outcomes and access to care. If enacted, H.B. 2066 would eliminate the existing requirement that an APRN enter into a signed collaborative practice agreement with written protocols with a physician thereby ensuring Kansans get the right care at the right time from the right provider.
H.B. 2066 is under review and discussion in the Health and Human Services Committee. The Committee is expected to act on the legislation as early as Monday, February 25, 2019. We need your help to ensure H.B. 2066 is passed out of committee favorably. To that end, we request that you contact your legislator and encourage them to SUPPORT improving care across the lifespan for Kansans by voting in favor of H.B. 2066. We have provided a template letter that can be edited to suit your opinions in SUPPORT of this measure.