New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association
Empowering Nurse Practitioners as Leaders in Healthcare

Legislative Follow-Up HB 1571 2018 Session and APRN Career Opportunity

Posted 2 months ago

Since its inception in 2008, the New Hampshire Professionals Health Program (NHPHP) has had the goal of working with all licensed NH healthcare providers who have occupational hazards that increase risks for substance use disorder, mental health disorders, burnout, disruptive behavior, and other impairing conditions. The NHPHP is delighted that the NH Board of Nursing (BON) has decided to join the program as required by the 2018 NH House Bill 1571: “As part of the state’s effort to combat substance use disorder, the general court finds that an alternative recovery monitoring program designed to encourage self-reporting by licensees of the board of nursing who may be impaired by substance use disorder, including drug or alcohol abuse, or mental or physical illness, similar to those programs available to other licensed health professionals in New Hampshire, would improve patient and public safety, promote the health and professional performance of licensees, and return to service and maintain the number of highly trained nursing professionals eligible to provide effective patient care in New Hampshire.”  The BON is finalizing the rules for this program.

APN Career Opportunity

An advanced practice nurse will be added to the staff of NHPHP. This provider will be part-time assisting in evaluations of all nursing referrals, providing outreach education and support to the nursing community and monitoring licensees as needed. Experience in treating addiction and mental health disorder is essential. For more information and to apply, see the job listing in the NHNPA Career Center here.  Use of the NHPHP is free and confidential; treatment and drug testing are required for monitoring will be the responsibility of the licensee with the use of insurance whenever possible. Services for the NH nursing community will be available July 1, 2019.

NH physicians have had access to a confidential mechanism to seek support for substance use issues since the 1980s when the NH Medical Society formed a committee entitled the Physician Effectiveness Committee. The NH Board of Medicine (BOM) began funding an “Impaired Provider program” through the NH Medical Society which hired Dr. John Dalco as a part-time medical director. In 2002 the BOM wrote the first RFP that included the categories of “disruptive provider” and “impairing depression” to the Impaired Provider program that was awarded to the NH Medical Society. In 2002 Dr. Sally Garhart became the medical director of the NH Physician Health Program which became the NHPHP in 2008 as a 501c3 designed to work with licensees of contracted NH health care boards for assessment, education and monitoring for substance use disorder, mental health conditions, disruptive behavior or physical illness that may be impairing.  NHPHP requires a confidential mechanism for individuals to receive assistance if the respective Board is uninvolved. According to the bylaws, the Board of Directors of the NHPHP is comprised of physicians, a physician assistant and a representative of each of the groups monitored. The NHPHP works closely with the respective Board if monitoring is required. Funding for the program comes from licensing fees paid to the NH Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC) and NH RFP as stipulated by the OPLC. The NHPHP has been working through OPLC contracts with licensees of the Board of Medicine, Board of Pharmacy, Board of Dental Examiners and Board of Veterinary Medicine for many years.