Monday, August 26, 2013 Bill to empower nurse practitioners divides professional organizations

California legislators look to nonphysicians to address primary care gaps in the state, but physician organizations and others oppose the proposed solution.

 Jennifer Lubell, August 26, 2013

A bill moving through the California Legislature that aims to boost the primary care work force by allowing some nurse practitioners to practice independently has run into resistance from physician and nursing organizations alike, who oppose the current measure for opposite reasons.

Despite some recent revisions to narrow the circumstances in which nurse practitioners could set up shop on their own, the physician organizations insisted that the bill doesn’t go far enough to protect patient safety or encourage needed collaboration with doctors. Other key groups in the state withdrew their support on the basis that the newly amended version would heighten the liability risk for nurse practitioners.

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