Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

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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Obtaining a California Nurse Practitioner License in 8 Painful Steps

As the kickoff to Midlevels for the Medically Underserved nears, our participating nurse practitioners are facing the NP certification and licensure process. If you're a new grad nurse practitioner, you're likely in a similar place. Approaching the process in an efficient, organized manner ensures you keep your job search and start date on track. A lack of understanding of the licensure process for nurse practitioners wastes precious time. 

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Prescribing Controlled Substances: The Course for NPs & PAs

Protect your license, prescribe appropriately

Prescribing controlled substances as nurse practitioners and physician assistants is challenging. Medications for treatment of pain and anxiety, to name a few, are often the key to helping patients find the much needed relief they deserve. However, given the addictive nature of most controlled substances, these drugs are widely sought after and highly regulated. At times, prescribing controlled substances can feel like a morally or professionally compromising situation. 

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How Will New Overtime Laws Affect Your Practice?

If you're a nurse practitioner practice owner, you've likely heard about the Department of Labor's new overtime rules. These rules increase the salary threshold for employees eligible to receive overtime pay. Proponents of the new law argue that the DOL's new regulations prevent lower level employees from being taken advantage of by working long hours without fair compensation. Opponents of the ruling argue the new threshold is too high, and that the ruling decreases the number of flexible employment options available to workers, as well as has negative financial and cultural consequences for businesses and employees. 

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Which NP Specialties Have the Highest Malpractice Risk?

Similar to physicians, as healthcare providers, nurse practitioners face the risk of medical malpractice. A missed diagnosis, for example, can have serious consequences for a patient leaving the NP legally liable. There are few studies out there specifically looking at malpractice as it relates to nurse practitioners. The data that does exist, however, is interesting and can give you important insight into your practice. Nurse practitioners working in certain specialties, for example, are more likely to face malpractice lawsuits than others. 

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What is a Collaborative Practice Agreement?

As with most healthcare professions, there is a lot of paperwork that goes along with practicing as a nurse practitioner. NPs must obtain a national certification as well as a state license to practice. In addition, an NPI number, and credentialing paperwork is necessary for nurse practitioners to bill insurers. In some locations, NPs have even more to coordinate as state scope of practice laws require additional documentation to meet practice requirements. One such document is a collaborative practice agreement. 

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