Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

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

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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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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Medical Malpractice Insurance 101

Every healthcare provider worries about being sued.  Not only does having a malpractice lawsuit filed against you mean you may have messed something, better yet someone up, being sued is a high stress situation.  Of course, the best way to protect yourself from liability is to practice with perfection, but as a healthcare provider you must carry malpractice insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances.

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What is Shared Billing and How Does It Affect You as a Nurse Practitioner?

It's easy as a nurse practitioner to go throughout your workday with knowing exactly how you get paid.  Yes, you may understand your basic hourly or salary compensation structure but your employer wouldn't hire you unless you were bringing revenue into the practice.  The rules and regulations surrounding nurse practitioners and billing are quite complex.

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Are Preceptors Liable for the Actions of Nurse Practitioner Students?

We've all experienced the awkwardness of clinical learning as nurse practitioner students. Mastering the skill set required to work as an NP means practicing on real, live patients even before you are considered proficient at that skill. Anxious, you stutter and sweat as you explain the procedure to the patient, the more experienced eye (hopefully!) of your preceptor looking over your shoulder. 

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Can Nurse Practitioners Administer Botox?

An increasing number of medical practices are adding cosmetic procedures to their menu of services. These procedures, such as administering Botox and dermal fillers, can significantly boost revenue and are relatively simple to perform. Patients pay for them in cash eliminating the paperwork and headache that comes with billing insurance companies. Can nurse practitioners get in on this practice opportunity?

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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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Nurse Practitioners + Delegating: What's Your Liability Risk?

The medical assistants in the emergency department where I work are incredibly helpful. They check vital signs, perform ECGs, and most importantly in my book, splint fractures. Splinting can be time intensive and isn't always easy. With backgrounds as EMTs, paramedics, and first responders, medical assistants in the ER have experience with splinting and are admittedly more adept than myself at the task. 

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