Bartolotta’s Bill Increasing Health Care Access in Rural Counties Passes Senate Committee

HARRISBURG – Legislation to increase access to health care sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) was passed by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee today.

Senate Bill 25, as amended, would allow qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRN-CNPs) to practice primary health care in rural counties independent of a physician after fulfilling a three-year, 3,600-hour collaboration agreement with a physician. Current law requires nurse practitioners to practice under a collaboration agreement at all times.

“In rural counties, people must travel significantly farther to access care and there is rarely public transportation. It can be very difficult and even impossible for people to access the health care they need, particularly as people age and tend to need care more often,” Bartolotta said.

The bill uses the Center for Rural PA’s definition of rural, which is when the total population of a county divided by the total number of square land miles yields a population density fewer than 291 people per square mile.

More than 3.4 million Pennsylvanians live in rural areas, where nurse practitioners are twice as likely – compared to physicians – to practice.

According to recent findings, the number of patients seen by nurse practitioners per week would increase by almost 1,800 if Pennsylvania adopted full practice authority.

The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.


CONTACT: Katrina Hanna, 717-787-1463

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