Nurse practitioners want expanded role
Nurse practitioners manage acute and chronic medical conditions through history and physical exam and the ordering of diagnostic tests and medical treatments. NPs are qualified to diagnose medical problems, order treatments, perform advanced procedures, prescribe medications, and make referrals for a wide range of conditions.
However, in Pennsylvania nurse practitioners must secure business contracts with two physicians.
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners wants to change that.
The organization says their members are all highly educated and certified. They also point out that Pennsylvania has the fourth oldest population in the country — people who will require more medical treatment as they age.
At the same time, the state’s primary care doctors are getting older and not as many new physicians are replacing them. For example, almost half of Pennsylvania’s doctors practice in Philadelphia, Allegheny County, and Montgomery County in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society, representing physicians, opposes any changes in the collaborative agreements saying they “exist to ensure that patients have direct access to a physician when their care requires a more highly trained professional.”
Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), Susan Schrand, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners
Appearing on Monday’s Smart Talk are Susan Schrand, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford).