Director Bianca Frogner Comments on How a Recent Study Informs Scope-of-Practice Debates

California is the second state this year to pass a law that relaxes physician supervisory requirements over and expands the independence of nurse practitioners (NPs). In a recent newsletter for Tradeoffs, a  focused on health policy issues, Director Bianca Frogner highlighted how findings from a recent study in Medical Care by colleagues at University of Minnesota comparing services delivered by nurse practitioners versus physicians in primary care practices informs these scope-of-practice debates. A key finding is that despite overlapping 92% in the types of services delivered, NPs and physicians see different types of patients. She encourages future scope-of-practice discussions focus more on patient need and less on professional turf as she and her co-authors recommended in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article.