Physicians Push Back Against Nurse Practitioners in Fight for Independent Practice

(ASC Review) Nurse practitioners continue to push for the right to practice independently, without physician supervision, according to a Healthcare Finance News report.

States considering legislation to allow NPs to practice independently are experiencing significant controversy around the issue, according to the report. At the end of 2011, the American Academy of Family Physicians announced that its Texas chapter had succeeded in preventing an attempt by the state’s NPs to push through legislation allowing them to practice independently.

Glen Stream, MD, president of AAFP, said “substituting one less-trained healthcare professional for another in the name of saving money” is not the answer, even in a time when hospitals and other healthcare facilities are feeling the strain of decreased reimbursement and economic pressures.

Nurse practitioners have responded saying that while they do not claim to be able to take the place of physicians, they do provide high-quality care and high patient satisfaction at a lower cost than physicians.