Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

Real Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management

By Healthcare Attorney Alex Scarbrough Fisher

Healthcare providers are aware of the current opioid epidemic in the United States, as well as the risks—both to the provider’s patients, and to the provider’s licensure—of prescribing opioids to patients for the management of chronic pain. So, what do we do about it? 

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Telehealth: Can NPs Treat Out-of-State Patients?

The expansion of telehealth has a number of positive implications for nurse practitioners. It can mean the ability to work from home, providing patient care from a computer screen. Telehealth helps nurse practitioners interact with patients who may have barriers to receiving care in the traditional clinic or hospital setting. Technically, the technology opens up a much wider patient population to the nurse practitioner, as close geographic proximity is not required to interact with the patient. But, is it legal for NP to treat out-of-state patients on telehealth platforms?

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Rx Pad: What Nurse Practitioners Must Include on Prescriptions

Prescribing practices are heavily regulated in most states, especially for nurse practitioners. There are very specific guidelines NPs must follow when writing prescriptions in general, and for controlled substances. Nurse practitioners who don't keep up with guidelines related to the information that must be included on prescriptions for these medications will find themselves bogged down with pharmacy callbacks, and and may even face discipline from regulatory bodies. So, it's essential to know what information must be included on prescriptions where you practice. 

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The Rules for Treating Partners of Patients with STDs

As a nurse practitioner working in the emergency department, I've become accustomed to treating patients for sexually transmitted infections. In fact, I do so nearly every shift I work. While having these sometimes awkward conversations with patients has become much easier, the waters surrounding treatment for the partners of these patients remains murky. Is it allowable to prescribe antibiotics for the partner of a patient I have never laid eyes on? What are the legal implications of doing so?

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So, You Want to Take Your NP Career to France? Here's How.

The nurse practitioner profession has been developing slowly across Europe. Here at MidlevelU headquarters, we receive a lot of questions from nurse practitioners looking to work abroad. So, over the next few weeks, we're looking at the process for working internationally as a NP certified to practice in the U.S. If the turquoise waters of the French Riviera, the lavender fields of Provence, or the romantic appeal of the Eiffel Tower are calling your name, here's how to practice as a nurse practitioner in France. 

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6 Delegating Tips to Protect Your Nurse Practitioner License

Yesterday, I discussed the liability risk nurse practitioners face when delegating clinical tasks to nurses, medical assistants, and others on the patient care team. Spreading out patient care responsibilities exposes nurse practitioners to medical malpractice liability. Understanding how to establish an effective supervisory relationship with coworkers mitigates this risk allowing patient care run smoothly. Here are a few practical tips nurse practitioners should implement in making day to day delegation decisions. 

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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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Can Nurse Practitioners Prescribe Out-of-State?

As a nurse practitioner, I've called in a prescription for a patient out of state a time or two. Patients traveling who neglected to pack necessary medications call the office requesting a refill locally. Practicing within an hour of a state border, a handful of my even patients reside across state lines. Scope of practice regulations vary from state to state making it difficult for nurse practitioners to know where they stand when it comes to practicing and prescribing in different locations. Is it allowable for NPs to prescribe out of state?

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What Are OIG Exclusions?

Have you ever heard of OIG exclusions?  I hadn't until the other day while chatting with a local Nashville healthcare business owner.  It turns out, as a medical provider I should have been aware of this legal branch of government.  Although I tend to shy away from topics associated with the law, the legal side of my brain is short a few neurons, I think it's important that nurse practitioners are aware of OIG exclusions and the potential career consequences they present.  Are you on the excluded list?

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Oxycontin’s 12-Hour Problem: What NPs Need to Know about Prescribing

The L.A. Times Investigation 

By Healthcare Attorney Alex Scarbrough Fisher

Earlier this summer, the L.A. Times reported on its investigation into Oxycontin, and the results aren’t pretty: the Times found that Oxycontin’s main selling point, that it lasts for 12 hours, is not supported by clinical research. 

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The 411 on Nurse Practitioner Prescribing

Prescribing is a core component of life as a nurse practitioner. While we advocate for lifestyle change and encourage alternate therapies, sometimes medication is the answer for our patients. Prescribing as a nurse practitioner can be a complex matter. Laws related to NPs and prescribing vary state to state. Some require a collaborative agreement with a physician, while others allow for independence. Even in states where nurse practitioners enjoy a greater scope of practice, state and federal guidelines still apply. What do nurse practitioners need to know when it comes to prescribing?

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The Battle Heats Up Over NP Scope of Practice at the VA

It's no secret that the Veteran's Health Administration has taken some heat lately. In 2014, major problems within the organization's healthcare system were exposed, as United States Armed Forces vets died while waiting for care at a Phoenix, AZ facility. Criticism of healthcare facilities for veterans extended nationwide, leaving administrators scrambling for solutions to the widespread problem. 

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