Pennsylvania's Nurse Practitioner Health Reform Increased Retail Clinic Growth

January 27th 2017
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor

NP scope-of-practice reform linked to net increase in retail clinics.

As retail clinics prepare to fill the gaps in accessible patient care due to primary care provider shortages, a new study reveals that some states are preventing this access due to restrictive scope-of-practice laws.

In a study published inNursing Outlook, investigators sought to examine the scope-of-practice regulatory environments and retail-based clinic growth in Pennsylvania, before and after the passage of Prescription for Pennsylvania (Rx4PA) health reform.

The reform has been linked partly to the removal of practice barriers for advanced practice nurses, according to the study.

To optimize innovative health care sites, such as retail-based clinics, would require the adoption of policies that standardize the scope of practice for nurse practitioners.

“Our finding of a net increase in retail clinics in Pennsylvania post-legislation suggests a relationship between the ability ofnurse practitionersto provide a wider range of services and the growth of an innovative model that aims to increase access to care,” said lead investigator Margo J. Brooks Carthon, PhD. “This new data underscores the importance of careful scrutiny of overly restrictive practice regulations.”

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