The American Academy of Family Physicians shot back at the whole physician extender “is as good as a doctor” trend. You might remember that the government/hospitals/insurance companies are supporting this movement for ONE reason only. They are cheaper. Take a look at this AAFP stance here. Here is a quick summary:
The AAFP report takes issue with the movement to grant nurse practitioners (NPs) independent practice authority at a time when the PCMH model is being rolled out across the nation. NPs are a vital part of the health care team, says the report, but “they cannot fulfill the need for a fully trained physician.
If you are a member of the AAFP, leave a comment. Here was mine:
Finally, you did something right. You took a damn stance. Hiring LELTs (less educated, less trained) is thought to be the answer to our healthcare dilemma. Look at Massachusetts and how they doing the same thing with PAs. NPs and PAs are not bad people. They are helpers in the healthcare arena. But they are NOT doctors. They used a trojan horse (to help the poor and needy in the rural areas) to gain traction and now they want to compete with us. It should have been game on at that time. They have killed our negotiating leverage with hospitals and the government. Finally, the AAFP has grown some metaphorical balls and stood up to this. You were warned. Us members begged you but you had to be the nice guys and appease all. Well, unfortunately it is too late and we have lost. Your only shot is to spend our dues on media ads explaining your stance listed above! Hammer them! Be mean! And then walk away from the RUC and let those idiots come to us. Man up!!!!! We have no time to sit back!
I am leaving it here because they could take it down as it was a little rough. I expect, as always, to get hammered by my PA, NP readers. Whatever. Using the term LELT is the most nonjudgemental and accurate acronym I could come up with. It is indisputable. It is a fact. Do I hate PAs and NPs. Hell, no. Can they be great clinicians in their scope of practice? Hell, yes. But both your groups have affected my livelihood and if you get mad at me for protecting my legitimate turf than go right ahead. Game on.
And unlike the pathetic organization that represents me, it has always been game on for years. Why they never saw this coming is beyond me.