Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

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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FMLA Q&A for Nurse Practitioners

If you're a nurse practitioners, chances are that thinking about FMLA is accompanied by a groan. FMLA means more paperwork for healthcare providers charged with securing medical leave for patients or their family members. Before whipping out your pen and scribbling responses into the multi-page form, however, it's important that nurse practitioners familiarize themselves with the background of the law and the requirements for advocating for a patient's leave. An FMLA slip-up could leave you legally exposed. Maintain solid relationships with your patients, and follow the letter of the law by understanding the answers to these basic FMLA questions. 

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5 Things NPs Need to Know About MACRA

The alphabet soup that is provider reimbursement got a bit thicker over the past few weeks. MACRA, MIPS, and APM are among the new acronyms healthcare providers must know to get paid. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MARCA) last month. Effectively, this ruling changes the standards by which Medicare reimburses healthcare providers. What do nurse practitioners need to know about the act?

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Oh, $@#*%! 5 Steps to Take After Making a Medical Error

We've all been there...on the guilty end of making a mistake when it comes to caring for our patients. Whether you prescribed an antibiotic to which the patient was allergic, performed a less than adequate procedure or misdiagnosed a medical condition, nurse practitioners and physician assistants aren't perfect. Mistakes are to be expected. We are, after all, human. But, when working with patients even the smallest of errors can have major consequences. What steps should you take when you totally screw up?

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The State of the Nurse Practitioner Profession

In this highly political climate, and in recognition of Nurse Practitioner Week, I think it's important that we take a minute to look at the state of the nurse practitioner profession in our country. What changes were made to scope of practice legislation in 2016? What changes can we expect on the horizon? Nurse practitioners' ability to practice is highly dependent on state legislation. So, as NPs we must keep up to date with the latest in politics. How does the NP profession look in 2016?

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