Dr. Wal-Mart

CVS’s Minute Clinic isn’t the only game in town for quick primary care visits anymore.  Wal-Mart is getting into the primary care game with $40 office visits with nurse practitioners.  MSN Money reports: Wal-Mart is making its long-awaited move into delivering primary care: The retailer has quietly opened half a dozen primary care clinics across South Carolina and Texas…

Nurse anesthetists: To Reimburse or Not to Reimburse?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently approved reimbursing nurse anesthetists for care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Critics say it jeopardizes patient safety, while supporters say it extends health care to pain patients who are often underserved by the medical community. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) (unsurprisingly) applauds the decision. Janice…

In which states do nurse pracitioners have the broadest scope of practice?

A July 2012 IOM report recommends changing state laws to allow “nurse practitioners and physician assistants to practice to the full extent of their educational preparation.”  Based on information from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), not all states currently allow permit NPs this flexibility. Currently 16 states and the District of Columbia (see below)…

Are nurse practitioners cost effective?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are non-physician clinicians that can often either assist or directly provide primary care. Some studies have found that NPs can independently manage 80 percent of patients’ primary care needs. Other studies show that NPs provide high-quality care. A recent article, however, suggests that NPs may not be cost effective.  This is a curious…