Navigation Links
Nurse practitioners provide more primary care in states with least restrictive regulations
Date:7/8/2013

Facing a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians, some states in recent years have eased up on regulations that create barriers for nurse practitioners who want to work as primary care providers.

That easing of rules has had the intended effect. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, those states with the fewest restrictions on nurse practitioners' scope of practice had two-and-a-half times more patients receiving primary care from nurse practitioners than did the most restrictive states.

"We wanted to look at what happened in states that allowed nurse practitioners more or less authority," said Yong-Fang Kuo, lead author of the study. "As you would expect, it makes a big difference. We can now clearly show that states with fewer regulations means more patients get the primary care they need."

This news is directly relevant to Texans right now, as State Senate Bill 406, which eases regulations on both nurse practitioners and physician assistants, was recently approved by the Texas Legislature and signed by the governor.

Increasing access to primary care is a key focus of national health reform efforts. States with a higher ratio of primary care providers to patients have lower Medicare expenditures and lower mortality rates. The shortage in primary care physicians has happened, in part, because more and more United States medical students are choosing medical specialty fields instead of primary care. In 1998, around 60 percent of U.S. medical students chose careers in primary care. Today, fewer than 25 percent do.

In the meantime, the past two decades have witnessed an increase in nurse practitioner training programs. There are more nurse practitioners in the U.S. now than ever before. States vary greatly, however, in how extensively they regulate nurse practitioners' scope of practice. In some states, they have essentially the same authority to practice that physicians have. Other states require physician supervision and limit nurse practitioners' hospital privileges as well as the authority to order tests, make referrals and prescribe medications.

The UTMB study looked at the growth in care provided by nurse practitioners from 1998 to 2010 using state records and national Medicare data. The researchers found that the number of patients seeing nurse practitioners as their primary care provider is on the upswing. In 1998, only 0.2 percent of Medicare patients nationwide used nurse practitioners as their primary care provider, versus 2.9 percent in 2010. In Alaska the percentage was nearly 15 percent.

Over the 12-year time period studied, the highest growth in nurse practitioner primary care was in states that allowed them to practice and prescribe independently: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Maine, Oregon and Vermont.

The new Texas rules, scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1, would bring nurse practitioners into closer alignment with their counterparts in those states. The bill eliminates the requirement for on-site physician supervision and allows more leeway in the delegation of prescribing authority.

The study appears in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs and was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute on Aging, the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Molly Dannenmaier
mjdannen@utmb.edu
409-772-8790
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Nurse practitioners can boost quality of care for older patients with chronic conditions
2. Career Nurse Assistant Week Celebrated with T-shirts Awarded Daily from Caregiverlist
3. Nurse-led programs help patients self-manage RA
4. Careers in Nursing: GetEducated.com Ranks Best Online Colleges for Nurses, RNs
5. More cancer specialist nurses to improve hospital care
6. NYC Chiropractor Honors Nurses with Complimentary Visit
7. OnSomble, Inc. Partners with The Aroostook Medical Center to Enhance Nurse Understanding of the Professional Role
8. American Sentinel University Develops New Worksheet to Help Nurses Determine BSN-Readiness
9. VisionLink Nurse Call System's New Features Serve the Unique Needs of Retirement Communities
10. Spectrum Surgical Attends Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates' (SGNA) 40th Annual Conference in Austin, TX
11. Study finds disagreement on the role of primary care nurse practitioners
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... ... to address a patient’s condition before it worsens will ultimately lower the cost of healthcare—and ... right thing, at the right time, at the right dose with the right patient … ... FAAFP, from Group Practice Forum. “Even if the cost of the treatment might be a ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... , ... LunchSkins is changing the future of ocean plastic pollution ... away plastic baggies. The mission-driven bags give back to global leaders in the fight ... mission is all about reducing global plastic waste and we’ve teamed up with ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Dave Newberry, broker/owner of ... Care Center (PICC) annual fundraiser luncheon on Friday, May 20. “We have raised ... smallest victims of drug abuse,” said Newberry. , PICC is a local Kent, WA, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... rulemaking (NPRM) issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT ... and take action when necessary, including suspending and terminating certifications issued to Complete ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... , ... May 02, 2016 , ... It has just ... the keynote speaker for five events throughout the month of May. , Uldrich is ... of national news outlets. He also frequently appears on the Science Channel’s FutureScape and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... , May 2, 2016 ... reach USD 11.1 billion by 2024, according to ... Inc. Major drivers of the sonography market include ... and government recommendations for periodic ultrasound screenings of ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) High ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , April 29, 2016 ... Directeur Financier Sanofi, leader ... publie ses résultats pour le premier ... Groupe, Jérôme Contamine, commente les résultats ... les perspectives pour le reste de ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... NEW YORK , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... will notably complement the company,s valve repair and ... the move also places Abbott more firmly into ... one of the fastest growing device areas, with ... to its recent report,  Advanced Remote Patient ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: