The stakes over the long-simmering debate in Kentucky over "collaborative agreements" regarding prescription writing may be rising over details of the Affordable Care Act, according to a recent article in The Courier-Journal.
Under state law, nurse practitioners (NPs) can only write prescriptions if they have a collaborative agreement with a doctor who will vouch for him or her. NPs argue they have the expertise to independently prescribe non-scheduled drugs such and blood pressure and cholesterol medications, but doctors defend the agreements as essential for patient safety.
There are concerns that the Affordable Care Act will heighten doctor shortages and increase the need for NPs, especially in rural areas. Kentucky currently has more than 10,000 physicians and 3,000 advanced practiced registered nurses, a group that includes NPs.
A state work group is evaluating the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Kentucky's health workforce and recommendations that NPs be allowed to prescribe non-scheduled drugs without a collaborative agreement. Read the full details here:
Nurse practitioners vs. doctors - Obamacare raises debate
Unfortunately, our society is faced with the difficult decision of what is more important: quantity or quality. In order for more people to have access to basic care, less educated providers will be required to give that care. Our medical care system is undergoing dramatic changes.
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