AFP-VA Commends Governor, Legislature for Expanding Nurse Scope of Practice

Apr 9, 2018 by AFP

Key AFP-VA legislation to improve healthcare in Virginia now law

RICHMOND, Va. – Americans for Prosperity – Virginia (AFP-VA) on Monday applauded Governor Northam for signing into law HB793, a measure that expands access to quality care by allowing nurse practitioners with five years of clinical experience to practice without a physician’s oversight. Virginia is now the 23rd state to have eliminated scope-of-practice restrictions that block nurse practitioners from utilizing their medical training to take care of patients.

“Empowering nurse practitioners by expanding scope of practice will provide better health, for more people, at lower cost,” said AFP-VA State Director JC Hernandez. “Eliminating unnecessary scope-of-practice restrictions is one example of how lawmakers can expand the supply of medical care without expanding Medicaid. We applaud Governor Northam and the legislature for finding a way enact bipartisan solutions to bring down health care costs for all.”

Background:

Allowing nurse practitioners to practice medicine to the full extent of their education has proven to help stem health care costs without sacrificing quality of care. A study in Tennessee found that nurse practitioners who provide service through that state’s managed care organization delivered health care at 23 percent below the average rates of other primary care providers.

Not only has expanded scope of practice for nurse practitioners led to lower costs, it also prevents unnecessary delays to routine treatments, which leads to improved health care outcomes. A study from the University of Arizona found having too few providers leads to delays in necessary care, worse health care outcomes, and increased costs. A meta-analysis published in Nursing Research found that, over 38 different studies, patient outcomes with nurse practitioners were equal to or better than that of physicians.