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

ysicians 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.


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

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