Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

Top 10 Reasons NPs & PAs Should Seek Legal Review of Employment Agreements

By Guest Contributor Leigh Ann O'Neill for Lauth O'Neill Physician Agency

Yesterday, we gave an overview of some of the challenges nurse practitioners and physician assistants face upon receiving a job offer. Presented with a lengthy employment agreement, many NPs and PAs neglect to understand and negotiate their contract, instead quickly signing on the dotted line. While employers are almost always well meaning, it's in your best interest as a healthcare provider to have an expert review your employment agreement to make sure you're protected and receiving fair representation. To start our series, here are a few reasons why. 

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Me vs. My Employer – When Do Nurse Practitioners Need an Attorney?

By Guest Contributor Leigh Ann O'Neill for Lauth O'Neill Physician Agency

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants play an increasingly important role in the healthcare landscape. Studies have demonstrated that despite misconceptions concerning their perceived abilities, non-physician practitioners (NPPs) or advanced practice providers can perform the majority of tasks that physicians can, while providing a high quality of care at a lower cost. Because of the many benefits achieved by employing NPs and PAs, practices throughout the country are increasingly taking advantage of all that these providers can offer.

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Do You Need Your Own Medical Malpractice Insurance?

While none of us as nurse practitioners intentionally messes up, the reality is that our role comes with a high level of responsibility. Misjudgments or mishaps can potentially lead to harm. Failure to document decision making can come back to bite you. So, as healthcare providers, we protect ourselves by purchasing liability coverage. Most often, such coverage is purchased for us by our employers. Lately, I have received a number of questions from nurse practitioners asking if they need to purchase their own supplemental policies as well. 

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4 Steps to Full Prescribing as a California Nurse Practitioner

Some states make practicing as a nurse practitioner more difficult than others. California is one such state with a few additional hoops to jump through for nurse practitioners looking to maximize their scope of practice. In the Golden State, nurse practitioners are not permitted to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances such as Percocet without meeting certain requirements. If you're an NP looking to prescribe to your full potential, you'll need to follow these steps to meet California Board of Nursing Requirements. 

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Can Nurse Practitioners Get Out of Jury Duty?

I received my first jury summons at the age of 18. I was still a Washington State resident although I was actually living across the country attending college in Tennessee. This created an easy 'out' when it came to doing my civic duty. My second summons came under similar circumstances about a year later. Still a student residing thousands of miles away, my jury obligation was temporarily waived. 

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Collaboration vs. Supervision: Understanding NP Scope of Practice

As a nurse practitioner, I would probably describe my relationships with the physicians with whom I work as collaboration. In most cases I see my own patients independently. The charts for these encounters are signed by a physician as required by state law. When I do have a question, the MDs I work with are happy to help. On the other hand, when a lower acuity patient walks through the door of the emergency department, I see the patient so physicians can focus on those of a higher acuity level. This structure represents teamwork, a collaborative and cooperative workplace environment. 

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Unexpected Considerations for Nurse Practitioners Volunteering Abroad

Whether you are a seasoned nurse practitioner or a new grad looking for an adventure, volunteering abroad is a great experience that is not only beneficial to you, but greatly to the people you’ll help. Underserved communities throughout the developing world are in need of nearly every type of healthcare service, from vaccines to basic health care exams. But lack of access to advanced healthcare as well as extreme poverty make it difficult for people in many countries to get the healthcare services they need.

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3 Things Nurse Practitioners Need to Know Before Volunteering

For nurse practitioners, volunteering is a great way to give back to those in need and can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. But with an estimated 15,000 to 19,000 malpractice suits brought against providers each year, willingness to volunteer can understandably be deterred by the potential for being held liable in the event that a patient is harmed. So, how can you lower your liability risk to protect yourself while giving back?

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Best Legal Advice for Nurse Practitioners in 2016

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating and are looking forward to what 2017 has to bring. I'm enjoying a Hawaiian vacation to kick off the year, so I'm off to a good start so far! I watched the ball drop, Mai Tai in hand, in the second to last time zone to cling on to 2016. If you could use a few good reads to ring in the New Year, check out our most popular legal posts for nurse practitioners from the past 12 months. 

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Which Type of Medical Malpractice Policy is Right for You?

Sorry folks, I didn't intend for this to turn into malpractice week here at MidlevelU.  Monday afternoon I plopped down in the chair on my front porch to enjoy the sunshine (finally) and hash out a short post on medical malpractice tail coverage (coming soon...).  As I began doing a little research for the post I discovered malpractice is not an easy topic to cover.  So, I stepped back to square one writing Medical Malpractice Insurance 101.

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Legal Considerations: Prescribing Medications for Friends and Family

We've all gotten that text - the one where a family member lets you know their child is inconsolable, most certainly suffering from an ear infection. Or, maybe a friend lets you know they have spent the night sleeping on the bathroom floor, gut twisting with food poisoning. As nurse practitioners, the temptation to help out a friend or family member in these situations by calling in a prescription is strong. Surely prescribing an innocent antibiotic or antiemetic for an acquaintance isn't an issue, right?

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Navigating FMLA + HIPAA: Notes for Nurse Practitioners

In my last post, I discussed the basics of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as they relate to healthcare providers. Nurse practitioners are likely to treat patients requesting medical leave from employers, and are often responsible for completing the paperwork required for the patient to do so. Discussing a patient's medical condition with an employer, however, puts the NP in a precarious position as healthcare providers are restricted from releasing patient information by HIPAA privacy laws. What information can nurse practitioners reveal to employers about patients seeking FMLA?

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