A trio of bills that state Sen. Ed Hernandez introduced in California would allow nurse practitioners, pharmacists and licensed optometrists to expand their practices in some capacities to help “close the primary care gap in the state”. Basically, it let’s them set up their own shop. If you have ever read this blog you would know I seen this trojan horse coming for years. I have always said that this fight started when NPs claimed to want collaboration but changed their minds and now want competition. Here is what Mark Dressner, MD, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, said:
While many legislators voted for the bill with assurances that amendments would be taken to require some level of physician involvement, the current language is too general and does not ensure physician collaboration.
Little secret, Mark, that is exactly what they don’t want. They feel shackled by us. In fact, when the bill was changed to have some oversight, the AANP withdrew their support.
Doctors will lose this battle. I know that but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight every step of the way. The NPs always had a game plan and the AAFP was always trying to appease. The problem is that they were being played. The ACA was the perfectly vehicle to do us in. As Sen. Hernandez said, “What good is a health insurance card if you can’t get into see a health care provider when you need one?” Exactly. And instead of finding the right incentives to become a primary care doctor they have put all their eggs in the trojan horse. Sorry for the mixed metaphor but it just fits.