Physician assistants and nurse practitioners—or, collectively, advanced practice providers (APPs)—already play an integral role in urgent care medicine, and are taking on more and more responsibility in many settings. Lately, some states have started taking a closer look at how much physician oversight they really need, opting to give them more independence. As with most change in any walk of life, however, there’s another side to the coin. A new post on the HealthLeaders website notes that the American Medical Association has expressed concerns over letting APPs practice outside the direct supervision of a physician. While some physicians say they’re concerned about patient safety, the AMA’s stated position is that allowing APPs to work more independently is out of step with current trends toward team-based healthcare. Where the former could potentially compartmentalize delivery of care, the latter “fosters greater integration and coordination,” as an AMA spokesperson is quoted by HealthLeaders. Regardless of which side of the issue you lean toward, the fact is that APPs are playing a greater role in urgent care medicine, and are likely to continue to. JUCM took a look at ensuring APPs are as prepared as they can be in an article called The Case for an Interprofessional, Postgraduate NP/PA Fellowship in Urgent Care. You can read it in our archive.
Physicians Push Back on Growing Independence for PAs and NPs