News: Nursing Policy

NPs: The Easiest Way To Expand Access to Health Care Is out of The Federal Government's Hands

Tuesday, March 5, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Melissa Moody
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Feb. 19, 2013 ( Nurse Practitioners: The Easiest Way to Expand Access to Healthcare is out of the Federal Government's Hands

In 18 states (disproportionately but not exclusively rural ones) and the District of Columbia, a nurse practitioner can examine, diagnose, and treat patients in a primary care context. Nurse practitioners also get paid less than doctors. Medicare reimburses them at 85 percent of the doctors' rate, for example, but they also charge less to insurance companies and out-of-pocket patients. And since the "blue states" in this sense are a pretty diverse lot, we can get pretty good quasi-experimental data as to whether cheaper nurse practitioners are actually any worse than primary care doctors in this regard. 

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