PA law will expand nurse-practitioner role

It appears Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D) will sign a bill today expanding the permitted scope of practice for the state's nurse practitioners. The move is part of a package of changes being pushed by Rendell as part of his health reform agenda for the state. The new law will allow nurse practitioners to perform new functions, including ordering wheelchairs, treating chronically ill patients in their homes and referring patients to specialists like occupational therapists. The new law also will give other professionals new powers; for example, certified midwives will get prescribing powers, and dental hygienists will be allowed to clean teeth without direct dentist supervision.

The director of the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform, Rosemary Greco, says giving nurse practitioners greater freedom will mean some patients face shorter waits for care, as they'll no longer be waiting in line for scarce physician time.

To learn more about the new legislation:
- read this The Philadelphia Inquirer piece

Related Articles:
Pennsylvania bill requires healthcare pricing disclosure. Report
Pennsylvania hospitals oppose infection reporting plan. Report
Spotlight: Pennsylvania health reforms bogged down. Report
AMA wrongly opposes letting nurses do more. Editorial
A state finds no easy fixes on healthcare. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.