Last week’s story by Lindsey Street on a state proposal to relax rules on nurse practitioners to improve health care access and reduce costs brought the most online comments ever – more than two dozen – to Statehouse Report. Some folks, however, relied on the old-fashioned letter to the editor:
Bill would help to reduce health care costs
To the editor:
This new legislation S.C. Senate bill 345 would go a long way in reducing costs to the state of S.C., and keep patients out of the emergency room.
This bill is very important in helping improve the health of all patients, especially those in rural areas. Nurse practitioners have a proven record of providing quality care to their patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, among others.
— Helen Ngigi, FNP-C, Smyrna, S.C.
Doctors, nurse practioners work together
To the editor:
I have over 25 years of experience utilizing Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNPs) in my medical practice in Columbus, Ohio, until I retired in 2014. The law in Ohio allows prescribing, independent practice under supervision generally on site and although not specified they can practice remotely as long as a doc is available for consultation on phone or Skype.
One of my hospital rounding nurses went back and obtained her CNP license while working for us part-time. As we had known her for over six years at the time, it was easy to trust her judgment. The biggest medical hurdle would be that level of trust between doc and CNP.
This however doesn’t seem to be a problem at CVS Minute clinics. My daughter is a PA (physician’s assistant) in Charlotte and worked there for a couple years. They have protocols for what can and can’t be seen and management guidelines. I don’t think she ever met her supervising doc there but did discuss cases on the phone. The CVS rules and guidelines are pretty clear. For a doc to recreate would be easy.
— Dr. John MacLaurin, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Doctors and nurse practitioners needed in South Carolina
To the editor:
As an Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) who has practiced now for 17 years, I am appalled at the S.C. Medical Association for its efforts to block access to health care across this state. The medical doctors (MDs) who want to limit Nurse Practitioner (NP) practice appear to be less interested in the health and well-being of the people of South Carolina, and more interested a turf war.
As a Primary Care Provider for the past 17 years, I collaborate primarily with two of my supervising physicians. I currently work alone as the sole provider in a Summerville medical office, but enjoy a very healthy relationship with my medical director and MD colleagues. These family practice MDs are very supportive and see the value in allowing me to practice alone. My practice has very low overhead because I work with just two other employees who are Certified Medical Assistants.
Both MDs and Nurse Practitioners are needed to care for the people of South Carolina. All of the current regulations limiting our practice limit access to health care by S.C .citizens. I also want to add that the article erroneously states that the proposed bill will allow NPs to prescribe medication; we have been prescribing medications for many years now. The proposed bill would simply allow NP’s to prescribe controlled substances when appropriate without having the patient wait for an MD to authorize these medications. The only losers in this turf war are the medically underserved people of our state.
— Alison MacLeod, FNP, Summerville, S.C.
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