As U.S. relies more on nurse practitioners, we need to learn more about them
ModernHealthcare - 06/27/2015
Nurse practitioners are assuming a more prominent role in primary care. Maryland is the latest state to allow this group to practice independently, and the Veterans Health Administration may soon follow suit.
The drivers for this trend are clear: the expansion of health insurance in the U.S. and our aging population, both producing heavy demand for primary-care services; shortages of primary-care physicians in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas; an urgency to lower care costs in the system; and pharmacy chains and big-box retail stores looking to use primary-care medicine (staffed primarily by nurse practitioners) as a “loss leader,” in part to build brand loyalty for their health-related products and services.