AB-890 Bill Allows Nurse Practitioners in Clinics like Ritter Center to Practice without Supervising Physicians
We are happy to report that bill AB 890 was signed by Governor Newsom on September 29, 2020, and will take effect in 2023. This bill expands the role of nurse practitioners and will allow them to practice independently in some settings, without a supervising physician. The idea behind this bill is that it will help address California’s primary care provider shortage.
This movement towards increasing the level of independence to allow nurse practitioners to practice to the fullest extent of their license is a big step in the right direction. Clinics like Ritter Center will benefit because nurse practitioners will be able to practice independently without physician oversight after the first three years of practice. This will begin to fill in the gap of primary care physicians as we continue our work on the front lines with our primary focus on whole-person, patient-focused medical care.
“As nurse practitioners, we are not just solving a problem in a silo, but instead we are looking at the patient’s whole life and how those different parts work together. This model works really well for our clients because we can’t treat our patients in a vacuum. For example, a patient doesn’t just need treatment for heart disease, but also may benefit from nutrition education to treat the heart disease. This approach takes into account their whole lives and related strengths and challenges. Otherwise we might not make the same progress with patients in terms of improved health and quality of life,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Family Nurse Practitioner, Tess Barbach.
A recent study showed no statistically significant differences were detected in nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) care compared with a primary care doctor (PCMD). Visits to NPs were more likely to receive recommended smoking cessation counseling and more health education/counseling services than visits to PCMDs. Visits to PAs also received more health education/counseling services than visits to PCMDs.
With these recent study results suggesting that NP and PA care are largely comparable to PCMD care, we are very happy that AB 890 has been signed into law. Read the full bill here: AB-890 Nurse practitioners: scope of practice: practice without standardized procedures