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Study: Nurse Practitioner Reform Would Generate $6.4 Billion in Health Care Savings for Pennsylvania

Monday, July 13, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Study: Nurse Practitioner Reform Would Generate $6.4 Billion in Health Care Savings for Pennsylvania


A new study from the Duke University School of Law shows that modernizing rules for nurse practitioners would generate at least $6.4 billion in health care savings for Pennsylvania over the next decade.


Additionally the reform, called full practice authority, has the potential to increase the number of nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania by 13 percent.


“The research is clear: states that allow nurse practitioners to serve patients to the full extent of their education and training see health care costs go down, access go up, and patient health outcomes improve. Pennsylvania should move immediately to remove barriers that needlessly limit nurse practitioners,” said Kyle Jaep, one of the study’s authors.


Currently, in order to practice, a nurse practitioner in Pennsylvania must secure business contracts called collaborative agreements with two physicians. Researchers have proven that this mandate offers no patient health benefits. To the contrary, research shows that the mandate restricts access to care and correlates with worse patient health outcomes. 21 states have already discarded the collaborative agreement mandate and adopted full practice authority for NPs.


State Senator Pat Vance (R-Cumberland) and State Representative Jesse Topper (R-Bedford) have introduced Senate Bill 717 and House Bill 765, which would modernize the law and make Pennsylvania a full practice authority state.


“This report proves that full practice authority for nurse practitioners is good for patients and taxpayers alike. Better access to health care means patients are more likely to catch small problems before they become big problems. That in turn improves health outcomes and lowers costs,” said Sheila Gealey, past president of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.


The full study, entitled “Nurse Practitioners: The Value of Full Practice Authority,” is below. The technical appendix can be found here. The Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which conducted a similar report in California, served as adviser to the study. Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners funded the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s involvement.


The report concludes: “Pennsylvania should follow the lead of 21 other states and the District of Columbia and grant full practice authority to NPs. The existing barriers are unnecessary and weaken a key source of primary care. Removing these barriers is critical to ensuring access to high-quality care, managing health costs, and improving health for all Pennsylvanians.”

Nurse Practitioners: The Value of Full Practice Authority in Pennsylvania by PCNP


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