Study Shows Eliminating Restrictions on Nurse Practitioners' Scope of Practice Can Increase Health Care Cost Savings in Retail Clinics

Retail clinics are an increasingly popular option for individuals who need simple treatment for non-life-threatening, less serious health conditions. A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation effectively demonstrates that these clinics can effectively cut down on costs when nurses and nurse practitioners (NPs) are allowed to practice independently. Retail clinics are projected to account for about 10 percent of outpatient primary care visits by 2015. The study's authors projected that the cost savings realized from using retail clinics at that level would be $2.2 million. The savings would be increased by $810 million if all states allowed NPs to practice independently, and by $472 million if NPs were allowed to practice independently.   The research team was led by Joanne Spetz, PhD, professor at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and associate director for Research Strategy at the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco, and Stephen T. Parente, director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the Carlson School of Business, University of Minnesota. According to Dr. Spetz, "Our findings underscore earlier research findings indicating that when NPs practice to the full extent of their training, they can deliver highly efficient high-quality primary care." The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) and is found in the November issue of Health Affairs.  
by Campaign for Action | November 11, 2013

Tags: practice

Rachna Desai

I find this is very interesting to know. I did not know the amount of autonomy a NP had until I started nursing school. I still have a lot to know. However it would be wonderful if more clinics allowed an NP to practice effectively. This can greatly decrease waiting time and even help out some exhausted physicians.
Posted on: November 19, 2013, 12:22 pm


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