In a Medical Economics piece, Rebekah Bernard, M.D., asserts that undertrained nurse practitioners and physician assistants, whom states have been giving more physician-like authority, are jeopardizing U.S. healthcare.
Among her observations:
“Unfortunately, this lower quality of training and clinical experience is beginning to become apparent. New studies are demonstrating that removing standardized curriculum and physician supervision from nurse practitioner training and practice is impacting the quality of patient care, including poorer quality referrals to specialists compared to primary care physicians, more unnecessary skin biopsies, than physicians, increased diagnostic imaging, increased prescriptions, including increased antibiotic prescribing[v] and higher opioid prescribing shown in the states of Connecticut and New Hampshire. Payouts for malpractice claims against NPs are also on the rise, as are claims for the improper prescribing and management of controlled substances. With training programs churning out NPs at a rate of 23,000 per year, compared to about 19,000 physicians graduating from medical school per year, we may see these trends grow.
To read her whole piece, please hit this link.