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NAPNAP Responds to New York Times: Nurses Are Not Doctors

NAPNAP Responds to: Nurses Are Not Doctors, by Sandeep Jauhar, April 29, 2014

Dear Editor:

We read with interest Sandeep Jauhar’s essay, Nurses Are Not Doctors (April 29, 2014), and are concerned that the obsolete, biased information presented could be taken as fact by the public. The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) applauds the New York State Legislature in recognizing that mandatory collaboration between an advanced practice nurse practitioner (APRN) and a physician does not serve any relevant clinical purpose. Mandatory collaboration instead primarily serves the financial and ego status quo of physicians and organized medicine. Collaboration agreements no more ensure that evidenced-based, team-based care is delivered than reimbursing physicians at 15 percent more means 15 percent better quality. The real question is why APRNs are not reimbursed at the same rate for the same services when patient outcomes and satisfaction are the same or better, as many contemporary studies indicate. It’s time for this government-sanctioned gender-biased reimbursement differential, which dates back to 1995, to change as our health care system transitions to disease prevention and health promotion. Almost half of the 171,000 nurse practitioners work in primary care, and that means we’re taking care of your children, parents and you.

Mikki Meadows-Oliver, PhD, MPH, PNP-BC
President, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
5 Hanover Square, Ste. 1401
New York, NY 10004