Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

How Should NPs Respond to a BON Investigation?

Being under investigation by the board of nursing is a stressful situation for any nurse practitioner to be in, even if the claim is unsubstantiated and is likely to be dismissed. Unfortunately, the BONs claims resolution process can take months, leaving you with plenty of time to mull over your next steps in response to the notice of investigation. Having a good understanding the legal side of investigations can be beneficial in easing your worries; still, troublesome thoughts and questions may consume you while in limbo. So just how should you respond when you’re under investigation by the BON?

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Is it Quality v. Quantity: What Should I Expect in a NP Contract?

By Jennifer Lankford, Labor and Employment Attorney

“Is it usual for my contract to be this short?”, “Are employment agreements normally this long?” I receive these types of questions often from nurse practitioners who are presented with an employment agreement. My answer, “It is the quality, not the quantity, of the agreement that matters.” Sometimes a short and sweet agreement is all that is needed. 

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7 Questions to Ask about Your State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Do you look patients up on your state's controlled substance monitoring database before writing prescriptions for these medications? I've long been aware of this resource available to nurse practitioners and other prescribers, however I recently learned that there's a lot more to using these databases than most providers are aware of. Did you know that it may be illegal for you to print out the results of an inquiry into the system? Or, for example, that you may be legally obligated to look a patient up in your state's database before writing certain prescriptions?

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Do You Give Your Family and Friends Medical Advice?

My father is a physician, so I was used to family and friends constantly calling our home asking a health question or two. As a kid, I enjoyed the benefits of having a parent in healthcare. I rarely went to my pediatrician, and rather was diagnosed with a viral illness here and there from the comfort of our living room sofa. Over the counter medications along with a prescription or two, were stockpiled in our cabinets. I was even taken in the back entrance of the hospital for an off-the-record X-ray or two after sports related injuries. 

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Second Jobs? Side Hustles? What NPs Need to Know

By Jennifer Lankford, Labor and Employment Attorney 

Moonlighting. Daylighting. Side Hustle. No matter how you describe it, second jobs or passions turned profits are common among nurse practitioners. Given the unique work hours of many NPs, you may have downtime that can be used to pick up nursing work for another health care provider, or, as is becoming more and more common, to pursue an entirely different career. Before signing on for a second job or promoting your Etsy shop among co-workers and on social media, here are some tips to keep in mind.

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6 Worst States for Physician Assistants

Last week we talked scope of practice regulations for physician assistants here on the MidlevelU blog. While the physician assistant career looks similar in many ways for PAs across the country, state laws do affect the way physician assistants are allowed to practice. For example, state scope of practice regulations may dictate the type of medications PAs are allowed to prescribe, or outline what physician supervision for PAs looks like. 

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Decoding Physician Assistant Scope of Practice Regulations

All healthcare providers, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants alike practice under a set of rules and regulations. While some of these guidelines are implemented at a federal level, states also get a say in how providers are allowed to practice. These sets of guidelines are referred to as scope of practice regulations. State legislatures have the authority to modify them as they see fit. This means the way each type of provider practices looks different in every state. 

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Nurse Practitioners, Are You Complying with This Reporting Law?

By Leondria Taty, MSN, FNP-C

Every state has a reportable disease list, and health care providers including nurse practitioners are required by law to report these diseases. Yes, that’s right by law. That’s because when these diseases are not reported, delayed, or incomplete, new incidences of the disease can occur and spread in your community. Here’s how it works and why it’s important.

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Up for Interpretation: Are Nurse Practitioners Required to Use Interpretors?

Have you ever had a text message conversation that came across totally wrong? Maybe the words in the message were in all the appropriate places, but the underlying tone was not conveyed as intended? Communication is complex, consisting not only of words, but also tone and body language. As nurse practitioners, we face even greater struggles getting the message across as we must communicate detailed medical concepts in a way that makes sense to those without a health education. The equation becomes even more complex when crossing cultural communication boundaries. 

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What Do You Need to Know About Malpractice Tail Coverage?

I am officially getting a new employer.  No, I'm not switching actual jobs, just transitioning from an employee of a small, local company to working for a large, national staffing organization.  While I expect my position, salary and benefits will be similar with my new employer, there are a few things I need to have in order for my job transition.  Any time you take on a new NP position you need to pay close attention to your malpractice coverage.

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What is the OIG Exclusion List, and How Could it Affect Your Practice?

By Healthcare Attorney Alex Scarbrough Fisher

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services maintains a list of healthcare providers who are excluded from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and all other Federal health care programs. This list is known as the “List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE)” and it is a BIG DEAL for the healthcare providers who unfortunately find themselves on this list. 

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Does Anyone Actually Know How NPs are Allowed to Practice?

I'm at a pharmacology conference in Chicago this week with a friend and former NP school classmate. My friend, Ann, is a family nurse practitioner who has been working in a cardiology practice for the past six years. Ann is pretty much an amazing and inspiring NP. Within cardiology, she has honed her skills in electrophysiology and does all things palpitations, pacemakers, and defibrillators

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