Treating the Nurse Epidemic
Today’s Los Angeles Times highlights an interesting phenomenon in the healthcare industry, in which nurses are playing a larger role as primary care providers. There are now 23 states that allow nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers without a doctor’s supervision, including California. This growing trend is a result of physician shortages and diminishing funds.
In many circumstances it is appropriate for nurses to act as the primary care provider; however, much of the healthcare community is concerned that this reliance on nurses, who don’t have the same level of education as physicians, and who aren’t under a physicians immediate supervision, could be damaging in the future. According the Times, “some doctors worry that the nurses overreach, doing more than they are trained to do.”
While SignatureMD’s template of concierge medicine supports nurses and physicians’ assistants acting as primary care providers, it does so in way where the physician is still highly involved. With the segmented model, patients that choose not to enroll in the concierge services are still permitted to remain with the practice and see adjunct staff – and the principal physician when deemed appropriate. This allows the physician to groom his staff and continue to see his patients when necessary, without having to release any associates or patients.
In this respect, SignatureMD is helping to counteract the primary care shortage dilemma in a time when they are needed most. What do you think? Do you, or have you, seen a nurse practitioner for regular appointments? Are you satisfied with those appointments? We’d love to know.