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Pending Alert: Nurse Practitioners Seek To Remove Collaborative Arrangements With Physicians
Legislation (S.3056-A) has advanced to the Senate floor strongly opposed by MSSNY that could jeopardize patient safety and lead to uncoordinated, siloed care by eliminating any statutory requirements for nurse practitioners to maintain collaborative arrangements with a physician practicing in the same specialty. The legislation would also eliminate the requirement for a newly practicing nurse practitioner to maintain a written collaborative agreement with a physician. The legislation could be voted on as early as next week.
Physicians can send a letter urging legislators to oppose this legislation from here: Protect Physician-Led Team Care for Patients (p2a.co). Please let your legislators know that NPs are an absolutely essential component of our healthcare system to ensure patients receive the care they need, but maintaining ongoing team-based care in collaboration with a physician is essential for ensuring patients receive the highest quality care. Instead of removing these collaborative requirements, the standards for physician-NP collaboration should be strengthened to help better recognize and treat potentially complex cases.
With only a few years of education, no residency requirement and only 500-720 hours of clinical training, NPs’ education is far less rigorous than physician training. By sharp contrast, physicians complete 4 years of medical school plus 3-7 years of residency, including 10,000-16,000 hours of clinical training. But it is more than just the vast difference in hours of education and training – it is also the difference in rigor and standardization between medical school/residency and nurse practitioner programs. It is therefore not surprising that a recent national survey concluded that 68% of respondents believe it is very important for physicians to be involved in diagnoses and treatment decisions, with an additional 27% of voters believing it is at least somewhat important (95% total).
Same-as legislation (A.1535-A) is in the Assembly Higher Education Committee. It should be noted that, during the recently concluded State Budget, there was a provision enacted that extended for another year – until June 30, 2022 – the existing law that permits nurse practitioners with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice without a written collaborative agreement provided they maintain evidence of “collaborative relationships” with a physician in the same specialty practiced by the NP. Please Click Here to Urge Your Senator to Oppose Legislation that Rejects Physician-Led Team Care.
MSSNY working together with physician groups across the State are strongly advocating to push back against mounting efforts by many non-physicians, to inappropriately expand their scope of practice beyond their education and training without collaboration with a physician. Read MSSNY’s Memo in Opposition to this legislation.
Joseph R. Sellers, MD