Amid Doctor Shortage, Hospitals Turn To Dwindling Supply Of Nurses, Physician Assistants
Forbes March 2013
With hospitals and clinics scrambling to find enough primary care doctors ahead of the Affordable Care Act, a new report shows they are increasingly turning to the already short supply of physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
As the health overhaul is implemented over the next 10 months, millions of Americans with a pent up demand for medical care are expected to flood doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals as they gain health care coverage come Jan. 1, 2014.
Experts agree there are not going to be enough primary care physicians – family doctors, internists and pediatricians – to care for all of the newly insured patients so hospitals and clinics are staffing up with allied health professionals.
California Lawmakers Address State Physician Shortage
Becker's Hospital Review March 2013
State senators in California have introduced bills that would increase the scope of care for nurse practitioners, optometrists, pharmacists and physician assistants, according to a KGO-TV/Associated Press report.
Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) introduced three bills that would expand the scope of care for NPs, optometrists and pharmacists, respectively. According to the report, one bill would allow NPs to see Medicaid and Medicare patients even if the physicians they work with do not. Additionally, under separate bills, optometrists would be able to check blood pressure, and pharmacists could help diagnose diabetes by ordering lab tests.
State Sen. Fan Pavely (D-Agoura Hills) introduced a bill that would expand services for physician assistants.
According to the report, the California Medical Association is against the bills. The organization has said the legislation will "create two classes of care," the report says.