Nurse Practitioners Recognized as Primary Caregivers

November 10th, 2010 1 Min read Nurse Practitioners Recognized as Primary Caregivers Blog
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield of Baltimore has announced that nurse practitioners will be allowed to serve in an independent primary-care capacity. This means that patients for this health plan are no longer limited to seeing primary-care doctors for everyday care. In response to CareFirst's announcement, United Healthcare of the Mid-Atlantic has issued a statement indicating that they are also looking into the nurse-practitioner-as-primary-caregiver option. Throughout the country, change is coming at the state level as well. States are incrementally expanding scope-of-practice laws for nurse practitioners. According to the 2010 Pearson Report, which is published annually in the American Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15 states and the District of Columbia permit independent practice for NPs. Key definitions like "supervision" and "prescriptive authority" still vary widely, but 28 states are moving forward with bills expanding the authority of nurse practitioners. A recent report released by the Institute of Medicine and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says nurses should take on a larger and more independent role in providing healthcare in America. "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health" calls for states and the federal government to remove barriers that restrict what care advanced practice nurses provide. The recommendations in the report are intended to support efforts to improve the health of the U.S. population through the contributions nurses can make to the delivery of care.