Navigation Links
Doctors Reluctant to Expand Nurse Practitioners' Role: Survey
Date:5/16/2013

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has a shortage of primary care doctors, and some policymakers want to fill the gap by expanding the role of nurse practitioners. But the two professions are engaged in a turf war over who can do the job better, a new survey finds.

The results of the survey were reported in the May 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Experts expected some controversy, but said they were surprised at how far apart doctors and nurse practitioners were in their opinions.

The nearly 1,000 doctors and nurse practitioners surveyed were most divided on the question of who gives the higher quality of care: Two-thirds of physicians said if a doctor and nurse practitioner provided the same service, the doctor would do it better.

Perhaps predictably, few nurse practitioners agreed with that. And although 82 percent of nurse practitioners felt nurse practitioners should lead their own practices, only 17 percent of doctors did.

"We weren't surprised that there were differences in their opinions, but we were surprised by the magnitude of the difference," said lead researcher Karen Donelan, a senior scientist at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

Dr. David Blumenthal, co-author of an editorial published with the study, agreed.

"It's striking how different their perceptions are, even though they work in the same physical environment," said Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based foundation that supports research on health policy.

So what does all of that mean? Blumenthal and Donelan said the divide between doctors and nurse practitioners has implications for how U.S. health care looks in the future.

Based on a number of studies, Americans' demand for primary care providers is straining the limited supply. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that by 2015 the United States will face a shortage of more than 33,000 primary care practitioners.

A Commonwealth Fund survey found that 16 percent of U.S. adults have to wait at least six days for a doctor's appointment when they have a health problem that needs attention. And experts expect the shortage to worsen with health care reform, which will extend insurance coverage to about 30 million more Americans.

Some policymakers think nurse practitioners offer a way to address the problem.

Nurse practitioners go through advanced education and training beyond the requirements to become a registered nurse. In about 16 states, they can do most of what doctors do -- including heading their own primary care practices, prescribing drugs and performing medical procedures unsupervised.

In other states, nurse practitioners may be required to work with a doctor.

On paper, it makes sense to expand the role of nurse practitioners in primary care because their education and training is shorter -- an average of six years versus 11 or 12 years for doctors, including residency training. By some estimates, anywhere from three to 12 nurse practitioners can be educated for the price of producing one doctor.

Donelan said there also is evidence that nurse practitioners do just as well as doctors when it comes to primary care -- and that patients needing urgent care actually give nurse practitioners better marks on communication.

But what is not known, she said, is how well nurse practitioners measure up against doctors when things get more complicated, such as in cases in which a patient's diagnosis is unclear or a patient has multiple chronic health conditions.

In those cases, Blumenthal said, "there's no literature as to the superiority of one profession over the other."

If nurse practitioners are to gain an expanded role in primary care, laws in many states will have to change, Blumenthal said.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine, an independent panel that advises the federal government, issued a report saying that many states' regulations on nurse practitioners were "overly restrictive" and based on politics.

The two professions' national societies see the issue differently. Some doctors' groups, including the American Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians, have said that nurse practitioners should be able to practice only under the supervision of a doctor.

But the trend seems to be going against those groups. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, bills have recently been introduced in 10 states to expand nurse practitioners' scope of practice.

Donelan said both sides need to "be at the table" in figuring out what primary care will look like in the future. "Achieving collaboration will take a lot of work, and it needs to be based on data rather than rhetoric," she said.

More information

The University of Pennsylvania has information on nurse practitioners and health care reform.

SOURCES: Karen Donelan, Sc.D., senior scientist, Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; David Blumenthal, M.D., president, Commonwealth Fund, New York City; May 16, 2013 New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Guidelines Say Doctors Should Screen All Adults for Risky Drinking
2. Lourdes Doctors Urge Testing During Hepatitis Awareness Month
3. Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Lawsuit: Parker Waichman LLP Reacts to a Training Specialist Who Said She Taught Doctors How to Use the Robot—Not Operate on Patients
4. Summit Medical Group Physicians Listed as Super Doctors
5. Book Appointments Online With DoctorSites' (Websites For Doctors) New Calendar Feature
6. Rottenstein Law Group Notes Medical Journal Article Advising Doctors To Use Caution When Prescribing Zithromax and Other Antibiotics
7. Doctors Take You Behind the Scenes of Their Cleveland Area Medical Spa, During Dr. Oz
8. The Revolutionary Garcinia Cambogia Select Weight Loss Supplement Recommended By Experts & Doctors - Now Available at HealthCareSupplementz.com
9. May Symposium By North Shore Eye Care Draws Eye Doctors From Across Long Island
10. Health Rating Company Announces Platform for Doctors to Market Their Business After New Study Reveals Struggles for Independent Practices
11. EPGL Hosting Live Conference Call Tonight at 6:00PM Eastern With Full Team of Doctors says EP Global Communications, Inc.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Doctors Reluctant to Expand Nurse Practitioners' Role: Survey
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... Curl Keeper® is excited ... The Curl Leaders, Editors’ Choice 2017 Award for the second year in a row. ... stylists and curlies alike was voted Best Moisturizer for Type 2 Wavies and Best ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2017 , ... “Congratulations! It's ... value of children to both their parents and God. “Congratulations! It's A Boy! God’s ... Rachael Anthony, a couple from Long Island, New York. , Published by Christian Faith ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet today ... for active, healthy lifestyles and highlighting the importance of proactive eye and ear ... and shares the latest innovations in hearing aid technology. , In this ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... services and financial consultations to communities throughout the greater DC region, is inaugurating ... the goal of rescuing local animals and training them to be companions for ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Goss & Associates Insurance Agency, a family ... in the greater Houston region, is helping locally recognized nonprofit Addi’s Faith Foundation ... , Founded by Tony and Amber Bender after losing their young daughter Addison ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/10/2017)...  Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN), acquired the long-standing outpatient rehabilitation ... . The reputable clinic will continue to be co-owned ... his staff of four clinicians. Lipkin received his doctorate in ... 10 years of experience with a strong background in manual ... the 10th PRN clinic in and around the Denver ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... Mich. , Aug. 7, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, ... of Joel Saban as president, effective Aug. 7, ... Urick has decided to pursue other interests and will ... "During his tenure, Paul has served us in multiple leadership ... Specialty Pharmacy in Jun. 2015 and has provided decisive, strategic ...
(Date:8/3/2017)... DIEGO , Aug. 3, 2017  Opioid addiction ... diseases driving up healthcare costs and threatening outcomes, were ... lab supply and IVD industry that support them, met ... care market researcher said that drugs of abuse, procalcitonin ... and sessions at the organization,s 69th meeting in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: