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Florida Nurse Practitioner and APN White Paper Has it Right

February 9, 2009

Recently I was sent a link to a very important health care paper that I wish more people would read. Although the paper was written in November of last year its message is clear and accurate.  Access to health care is an issue because of many of the points brought up in the paper. I do not practice in Florida, but in a state that has very similar restrictions on Advance Nursing Practice. The key problems that it brings out about advanced nursing practice and health care access are critical to solving some of our nation’s health care problem.

The Florida APN’s clearly point out that inability to prescribe controlled substances, inability to be directly reimbursed by medicare and many insurance companies, inability to obtain medical staff privileges at many hospitals, inability to order Occupational or Physcal Therapy for patients, inability to sign death certificates, and inability for APN’s to empanel insurance companies are all major obstacles for heath care access for many. Where physicians require larger salaries and often choose to specialize, NP’s offer a more affordable option to expansion of primary care access. Do not hear me incorrectly, do we need good physicians who specialize and do extensive procedures and surgery… absolutely! However, access to by self-pay and lower income patients is enhanced by ANP access.

As previously noted on this blog, NP practice is noted in many research studies to be equivalent to or better than physician care in important primary care areas (see — https://nursestory.wordpress.com/2008/06/10/np-care-cost-effective-and-on-par-with-physician-care-according-to-research/ ). Without socializing the system we can still improve access. Advanced practice nurses offer a practical and important alternative.

You can access the Florida Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses white paper at: http://www.floridanurse.org/Resources/documents/ARNPWhitePaper.pdf

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 15, 2009 8:34 pm

    This is so painfully obvious that you have to wonder why legislators don’t get it. The answer is easy–the American Medical Association is protecting its highly paid turf, at the expense of health care consumers and taxpayers. They use their $$$ to lobby for the very special interest they have in their own wallets.

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