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FACT CHECK: Senator misrepresents APRN prescribing numbers, wants CAPA-CS waiver removed from extended pandemic emergency orders 

ALERT! Blatant falsehoods and gross misrepresentations of APRN prescribing numbers are being shared with legislators. Those who would have APRNs governed by the board of medical licensure and fear that increased access to care will "cut into territory" they have staked out are working overtime to discredit the expertise and value of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.

Setting the Record Straight

Following the Sept. 7, Senate Meeting, KANPNM refuted the bogus claims and brought context and clarity to the KASPER numbers by providing each member of the Kentucky Senate with "Setting the Record Straight." 

Here is the transparent and understandable explanation of the KASPER data across all providers of scheduled drugs from  KANPNM's Setting the Record Straight: 

"Here are the facts about opioid prescriptions: 

KASPER is the KY All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting, through which all prescriptions for controlled substances are recorded and monitored in Kentucky. The chart below uses KASPER data for Schedule II Opioids to show the number of prescriptions written by dentists, physicians and APRNs and the amount each profession has decreased their average prescriptions, comparing 2015 to 2020. 

Clearly, opioid prescriptions must continue to be reduced, but APRNs have demonstrated a firm commitment to that goal and have shown a greater decrease than have physicians, as  evidenced by the data. 

Manipulated interpretations of KASPER data, dating back to 2011, have been used to illustrate that APRN prescribing for Schedule II opioids “skyrocketed” from 2011 to 2020. This is a false accusation.


First, APRNs are only authorized to prescribe a 72-hour supply of Schedule II drugs. Prior to 2015, hydrocodone combination products were classified as Schedule III drugs, for which APRNs were authorized to write a 30-day supply. In 2014, hydrocodone was changed to a Schedule II drug. When comparing the KASPER data from 2011 to 2014, it appears that there was a huge jump in APRN prescribing of Schedule II opioids, when in fact what happened was that change in hydrocodone classification. Thus, the KASPER data needs to be analyzed starting in 2015 and going forward. 

Secondly, each KASPER report lists the number of prescribers in each category for the time period being monitored. The number of APRNs significantly increased between 2011 and 2020 (more than tripling). Simply looking at the raw numbers of prescriptions and dosages without taking into account the increased numbers of prescribers – which has been done by our opponents – would appear to show “massive overprescribing” by APRNs.


The only way to make comparisons across provider types is to take into consideration the number of prescribers in each profession – dentists, physicians and APRNs – and then to use an average number of prescriptions or dosages per provider. 

The chart below uses KASPER data for Schedule II opioids to show the average number of prescriptions written by dentists, by physicians and by APRNs and the amount each type of prescriber has decreased their average prescriptions, comparing 2015 to 2020."


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No "explosion" of NP opioid prescription written during pandemic 

Further, the KASPER data for opioid prescribing without a CAPA-CS under the pandemic emergency orders does not show an "explosion" of prescribing but stays on trend, with average APRN opioid prescriptions remain consistently lower than that of physicians. 


Contibute to Kentucky Advance Practice Political Action Committee today to make certain the Association has the resources it needs to battle through misinformation and fear mongering spread by those opposed to allowing APRNs to practice without need of CAPA-CS and thereby help extend access to care to more Kentuckians.

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