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First Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. 97­0409.01 DFH HOUSE BILL 97­1139

STATE OF COLORADO

BY REPRESENTATIVE Gordon

HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT,

WELFARE & INSTITUTIONS

A BILL FOR AN ACT

CONCERNING THE PRESCRIBING OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

Bill Summary

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently adopted.)

Makes the repeated dispensing or prescribing of antibiotic prescription drugs without clinical justification by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse grounds for professional discipline.


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

SECTION 1.  Legislative declaration. The general assembly hereby finds that the overuse or misuse of antibiotic drugs can lead to the creation of drug­resistant forms of bacteria that may be harmful and even life­threatening not only to the patient but also to others in society. The general assembly recognizes that the practice of repeatedly treating young children with antibiotics increases their risk of contracting drug­resistant forms of bacteria that can seriously damage their health. Moreover, the possible emergence of multiple­drug­resistant strains of bacteria because of increased use of antibiotics leads to a serious public health risk if common antibiotics become incapable of attacking bacteria and infection. Therefore, the general assembly hereby declares that the purpose of this act is to help curtail the indiscriminate use and misuse of antibiotic drugs by health care professionals by making the repeated dispensing or prescribing of antibiotics without clinical justification unprofessional conduct and grounds for professional discipline.

SECTION 2.  12­36­117 (1) (bb), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1991 Repl. Vol., is amended to read:

12­36­117.  Unprofessional conduct. (1)  "Unprofessional conduct" as used in this article means:

(bb) (I)  Engaging in any of the following activities and practices: Willful and repeated ordering or performance, without clinical justification, of demonstrably unnecessary laboratory tests or studies; the administration, without clinical justification, of treatment which is demonstrably unnecessary; the failure to obtain consultations or perform referrals when failing to do so is not consistent with the standard of care for the profession; REPEATEDLY DISPENSING OR PRESCRIBING, WITHOUT CLINICAL JUSTIFICATION, ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTION DRUGS; or ordering or performing, without clinical justification, any service, x­ray, or treatment which is contrary to recognized standards of the practice of medicine as interpreted by the board.

(II)  In determining which activities and practices are not consistent with the standard of care or are contrary to recognized standards of the practice of medicine, the board of medical examiners shall utilize, in addition to its own expertise, the standards developed by recognized and established accreditation or review organizations, which organizations meet requirements established by the board by rule and regulation. Such determinations shall include but not be limited to appropriate ordering of laboratory tests and studies, appropriate ordering of diagnostic tests and studies, appropriate treatment of the medical condition under review, appropriate use of consultations or referrals in patient care, and appropriate creation and maintenance of patient records.

SECTION 3.  12­38­117 (1) (n), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1991 Repl. Vol., is amended to read:

12­38­117.  Grounds for discipline. (1)  The board has the power to revoke, suspend, withhold, limit the scope of, or refuse to renew any license, to place on probation a licensee or temporary license holder, or to issue a letter of admonition to a licensee in accordance with the procedures set forth in subsection (3) of this section, upon proof that such person:

(n)  Has engaged in any of the following activities and practices: Willful and repeated ordering or performance, without clinical justification, of demonstrably unnecessary laboratory tests or studies; the administration, without clinical justification, of treatment which is demonstrably unnecessary; the failure to obtain consultations or perform referrals when failing to do so is not consistent with the standard of care for the profession; REPEATEDLY DISPENSING OR PRESCRIBING, WITHOUT CLINICAL JUSTIFICATION, ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTION DRUGS; or ordering or performing, without clinical justification, any service, X ray, or treatment which is contrary to recognized standards of the practice of nursing as interpreted by the board;

SECTION 4.  Effective date.  This act shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety­day period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor.