By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD
Earlier this month, with the passing of its budget, New York became the 25th state to grant full and independent practice authority to nurse practitioners (NPs). Intended to promote access to care, help attract and retain nurses, and address healthcare disparities among different communities, the new legislation eliminates regulatory barriers that many have argued are unnecessary and antiquated.
Up until recently, NPs were required to maintain a written practice agreement with a physician within their speciality area. Within the context of that agreement, physicians would periodically review patient records and were needed to make referrals, order diagnostic test, and prescribe medication, among other things. Physicians were also granted the final word on disagreements about patient care. NPs with more than 3,600 hours of practice operated under only slightly less restrictive circumstances; requiring the maintenance of a collaborative relationship with a physician.
During the pandemic, however, state leaders and health care providers discovered that NPs were needed and able to step in and help address provider shortages; increasing vital access to primary care and necessary vaccinations. This lead to executive orders lifting burdensome restrictions and, ultimately, conversations related to permanently deleting those antiquated legalities preventing full and direct access to NP care.
Under the new legislation, experienced NPs may now provide independently, the full scope of services they are trained and educated for that includes:
- the evaluation, testing and diagnosing of patients
- the initiation and management of treatments
- the ordering and interpretation of diagnostic tests
- the prescription of medications
You can find more information about Nurse Practitioners and Full Practice Authority Legislation in NY and other states, at www.aanp.org.
If you have any questions regarding how this new legislation my affect your healthcare practice or business, Contact Us.