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Nurse Practitioners

The following articles have the tag Nurse Practitioners

E-health sparks ‘seismic shift’ amid GPs, specialists

GP REGISTRARS have been told the future of the Australian healthcare system will be in their hands as the introduction of a shared health record triggered a “seismic shift” in the power relationship between GPs and specialists.

Fears over NP paperwork are ‘overblown’, GPs told

NURSE-led clinic operators have dismissed suggestions that GPs are likely to receive unsolicited correspondence regarding nurse practitioner patients, following recent advice from MDOs and the AMA on how doctors should handle such cases.

GPs can refuse nurse practitioner referrals

GPs who receive documents from a nurse practitioner regarding patients they haven’t seen for some time are within their rights to ask not to be sent any further results, according to MDOs and the AMA.

Nurse clinic founder rejects AMA concerns over patient safety

SMARTCLINICS founder Steven Dahl has hit back at claims from doctors’ groups that his nurse practitioner-led private clinics – set to begin in Brisbane later this month – could jeopardise patient safety. AMA Queensland president Dr Richard Kidd and AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton both told MO they had serious concerns about the clinics, but Mr Dahl said he was “surprised” by the comments. “We have had a number of conversations with the AMA and have taken their advice on board,” Mr Dahl said. “Each clinic will be ...

Meeting seeks clarity on nurse practitioner medico-legal risk

DOCTORS’ groups have taken the first step to ensure collaborative arrangements with nurse practitioners (NPs) will not expose GPs to medico-legal risks.  Doctor and nurse groups, medical defence organisations (MDOs) and the Federal Health Department met last week to discuss collaborative arrangement scenarios and to gain clarification on GPs’ medico-legal responsibilities when working with or obtaining test results from independent NPs. MDOs last week confirmed GPs would be legally responsible to follow up any unsolicited test results from NPs, after a WA GP received such a test from an NP. The summit discussed approaches to prevent ...

No slowdown in growing doctor shopper menace

DESPITE growing attention from the media, experts and practitioners, ‘doctor shopping’ is showing no signs of abating, with the latest Medicare Annual Report revealing the practice has increased by 8% in the last 12 months. According to the report,  more than 26,900 calls weremade by doctors to the Pres-cription Shopping Information Service in 2009-10, an increase of more than 2000 calls on 2008-09 figures.  The 24-hour advice line offers real-time information on patients that GPs suspect are doctor shoppers. More than 5100 patient reports were issued to doctors as part of the Medicare Prescription Shopping Program, alerting ...

No slowdown in growing doctor shopper menace

DESPITE growing attention from the media, experts and practitioners, ‘doctor shopping’ is showing no signs of abating, with the latest Medicare Annual Report revealing the practice has increased by 8% in the last 12 months. According to the report, more than 26,900 calls were made by doctors to the Prescription Shopping Information Service in 2009-10, an increase of more than 2000 calls on 2008-09 figures. The 24-hour advice line offers real-time information on patients that GPs suspect are doctor shoppers. More than 5100 patient reports were issued to doctors as part of the Medicare Prescription Shopping ...

Extent of nurse practitioners' PBS access revealed

NURSE practitioners will be able to access PBS subsidies for almost all medicines listed on the general PBS, it has been revealed. According to MO sources, exactly what drugs each NP will be able to prescribe on the PBS will depend on their defined individual scope of practice – which they will be able to define themselves, based on their training and experience. It is understood NPs will only be able to access the PBS subsidies while working within the parameters of a collaborative arrangement with a GP or other medical professional. However, the AMA has ...

Master educator is GP of the Year

A 30-YEAR dedication to medical education and “making the system work” has seen Bundaberg GP Dr Patrick Byrnes named RACGP GP of the Year. Dr Byrnes was recently the RACGP representative on the Nurse Practitioner Advisory Group, and invested much effort in negotiating with the Federal Government to ensure relationships between GPs and nurse practitioners (NPs) were collaborative and workable. As one of the first GPs in the country to directly employ an NP in his practice, Dr Byrnes felt he could contribute to the negotiations. “I was working with an NP and felt I had ...

GPs win control over nurse access to MBS

GPs are now weighing up the opportunities that collaboration with nurse practitioners (NPs) may yield, following a directive from the Federal Government that NPs will need the consent of doctors before they treat patients on the MBS. The new collaborative arrangements, signed off by Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, are being hailed as a win for doctors’ groups who have lobbied hard to have such written agreements included. Many groups had previously voiced fears that without such collaborative agreements, independent NPs could lead to fragmentation of patient care.Four scenarios under which NPs can treat patient on the ...

Election speculation casts cloud over future of health reforms

WITH speculation rife that Prime Minister Julia Gillard will call a snap federal election, questions still hang over key planks of the Federal Government’s health reforms. While the landmark Council of Australian Governments deal struck early this year will see new monies flow to health services around the country, a sudden election could see key pieces of health reform legislation delayed.  The National Health and Hospitals Network Bill – which includes provisions for the controversial diabetes scheme – remains before the House of Representatives. While it is expected to pass through the Lower House, an easy passage ...

Patients’ voice to be heard in petition presented to Parliament

GRASS roots GP lobby group Doctors Action has enlisted 12,000 patients in its latest request for Labor to ensure the doctor patient relationship is not damaged amid ongoing health reform. Doctors Action president, Western Sydney GP Dr Adrian Sheen, last week presented Liberal shadow health minister Peter Dutton with his patient petition.  More than 12,000 patients registered their concerns that the health reforms, such as GP Super Clinics and greater roles for nurse practitioners, risked undermining the doctor-patient relationship.  The petition was launched late last year following the establishment of the Doctors Action group at a ...

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Practising with nurse practitioners

With expanded prescribing rights and access to the MBS coming up later this year for nurse practitioners, Amanda Sheppeard reports on some of the issues practices should consider.

GP nurse freedom preferable to NP prescribing

THE Federal Government should have given practice nurses greater freedom rather than granting MBS and PBS access to nurse practitioners, GP groups say. The AMA and RACGP have hit out at the Federal Government over its decision last month to give the go-ahead to nurse practitioners to claim benefits from the MBS and PBS. The GP groups say it should have instead given the green light to practice nurses to prescribe and order tests because their relationship with GPs is stronger. AMA vice-president and GP Dr Steve Hambleton said the association would have recommended that Australia ...

Public suspects purse is behind Govt nurse push

ALMOST 60% of the general public is cynical of the Federal Government’s push for nurse practitioners, an AMA poll has revealed. And patients are unconvinced that nurses should be allowed to practise completely independent of doctors. The national poll of more than 1500 respondents found that 59% agreed with a statement that the Government was favouring nurse practitioners because they were cheaper to train.  However, Australians broadly support greater use of nurses within general practices, with 82% agreeing that the best outcome for patients is nurses and GPs working together. AMA vice-president Dr Steve Hambleton ...

Nurse practitioners popular with patients

PATIENTS have reported high satisfaction with care provided by nurse practitioners, despite lacking an understanding of the role and tasks they could perform. An Australian Catholic University survey of 129 patients who had received care from a nurse practitioner revealed 95% of respondents felt they received very good or good quality care. The study also indicated 93% of respondents believed the NP had demonstrated very good or good knowledge and skill levels. However, just 44% of the patients were aware NPs could prescribe some medications and a third of respondents admitted they were unaware the practitioners could ...

NP subsidy could drain hospital staff

PAYING nurse practitioners to work in primary care is a misallocation of resources that will compound existing hospital nurse workforce shortages, according to a Sydney academic. Jeremy Sammut, research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, claims that by creating a lucrative alternative career path for nurses, fewer would be willing to work in hospitals where they are most needed. His comments follow Federal Parliament’s recent decision to hand MBS and PBS rights to nurse practitioners.  “The idea that we should be adding an additional taxpayer subsidy for care of patients with the least serious ...

ACT GPs fight to overturn nurse practitioner approval

  PRESSURE from GPs in the ACT has led to an agreement from ACT Health to review the process that led to the approval of five pharmacy-based nurse practitioner positions in the territory. Local division of general practice chair Dr Rashmi Sharma last week met with ACT Health about GP concerns that approval of the positions for a planned Revive Clinic lacked consultation with two large GP practices near the planned site. "We understand ACT Health has put in motion an internal process to consider our concerns," Dr Sharma told Medical Observer. "The process for ...

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