Calif. Senate OKs Measure Expanding Nurse Practitioners’ Role
California lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow nurse practitioners to practice more independently amid worries over a shortage of health care providers. The bill would allow the practitioners to have stand-alone practices, among other things.
Los Angeles Times: California Considers Expanding Role For Nurse Practitioners
Addressing an expected shortage of doctors in California, the state Senate approved a measure Tuesday that would allow nurse practitioners to independently perform more medical functions now within the domain of physicians. The measure would allow nurse practitioners to have stand-alone practices to provide primary health care services independent of physicians including certification of disability claims, prescription of drugs and approving many treatments (McGreevey, 5/28).
The Associated Press: Senate OKs Bills Addressing Medical Provider Gap
Over the objection of doctors, the state Senate on Tuesday passed two of three health reform-related bills intended to address California's medical provider gap. Lawmakers passed SB491 by Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina, which will expand the role of nurse practitioners. The 21-12 vote was the bare majority needed for the bill to move to the Assembly (Lin, 5/29).
Georgia Health News looks at the role these practitioners will fill, especially in rural areas --
Georgia Health News: Nurses Practitioners Aim To Fill Care Gap (Video)
More and more Americans, especially in rural areas, say they have no primary care doctor. And the situation may get worse before it gets better. As millions of people become newly insured in 2014 and the population grows, many are worried that those with new coverage will overwhelm the nation’s already short supply of primary care physicians. "Fifty years ago, half of the doctors in America practiced primary care, but today fewer than one in three do," the Senate Primary Health and Aging subcommittee reported in January. And of the 17,000 new doctors graduating from medical school each year, only 7 percent choose a primary care career (Sellers, 5/28).