On paper (so to speak), in-office prescribing in the urgent care center would seem to be a no-brainer for all concerned: patients could avoid the time-consuming hassles of navigating the retail drugstore morass and head straight home with their medication, and providers could be assured that their patients got the right medication in a timely manner and could be the responsible parties to answer any questions they may have—all while collecting a modest profit.
That’s the ideal, anyway. As is often the case, the reality is that a whole lot of red tape makes
it literally impossible in some states and just too challenging to deal with in many others.
One issue is that 44% of states impose limitations on nurse practitioners and physician assistants (or both) and, as you undoubtedly know, NPs and PAs are flying solo in many UCCs. And even though 80% of states allow physicians to dispense noncontrolled substances in-office at a profit, 12% prohibit dispensing-for-profit and 4% only allow on-site prescribing in rural geographies. See the graph below for further detail.
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