COVID-19 opened a Pandora’s Box that exposed to the public many of the deficiencies in health care that healthcare professionals(HCPs) already knew existed. Finally, the public was able to see just how dysfunctional the U.S. “health care” system really is–on the inside. Physicians, nurses and other HCPs continue to be terminated and/or have their careers destroyed for complaining about issues that affect patient care and safety. Since the corporatization of medicine, the name of the game has always been to keep the public ignorant to what is occurring behind closed doors. COVID didn’t give a s**t. It unceremoniously pulled back the curtains on the charade of false transparency and contrived compassion by the private-equity backed medical institutions, contract management groups(CMGs), Pharmacy Benefit Managers(PBMs), Group Purchasing Organizations(GPOs), etc. seeking to profit off the crisis.
Unfortunately, the pandemic also conveniently provided fertile ground for unqualified predatory opportunists, also striving to profit, to practice medicine unsupervised by claiming that this blatant violation of the law was absolutely necessary to bestow the care needed during this nationwide disaster. In addition, non-physician practitioners(NPPs) falsely accused physicians of impeding their attempts to assist during the pandemic. Nevermind that NPPs were already working in areas they maintained they could not because they were being obstructed by medical doctors. It was all a lie. A lie perpetrated to achieve the agenda they had sought all along, Full Practice Authority(FPA) and Optimal Team Practice(OTP). Consistent with their unethical campaigns, the pandemic enabled NPPs to expedite a truncated path to play doctor that would appear to the public to be legitimate(as it was co-mingled with the crisis), with the hope that once the pandemic had run its course, their hastily enacted FPA/OTP laws would not be rescinded, ultimately enabling them to effectuate physicians without oversight or real accountability. Imitation is supposed to be the greatest form of flattery. Not in this case. It is a catastrophe of the greatest magnitude because the one’s paying the highest price are the patients. They always are.
It is my opinion that legislators, economists, health care professionals, corporate medicine, etc. do not understand that by promoting FPA/OTP, they will be exchanging one calamity for another. Using physician facsimiles to save a buck will cost more in the long run because this fraud is unsustainable for one reason–the legitimate practice of medicine is not reproducible. However, it is possible to mimic. The proof of quality is in the pudding. That pudding is the public. They will exhibit the deficits in knowledge of those engaging in the illegal practice of medicine. The harm done to them may not be recognized immediately, but it will manifest in some way, shape or form. It is inevitable. The devil is in the details and the NPPs do not possess the details required to practice authentic medicine competently, unsupervised. The goal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners(AANP) is to achieve pay parity with physicians:
Good luck with that. If the pay and reimbursements are the same, why would any institution then hire those with little to no formal education in medicine and increase their liability? They won’t. Same for those who chose to open private practices. Why would the public, if paying the same price, choose NPPs instead of physicians who are actually trained and licensed in the practice of medicine? Hell, NPPs choose physicians for their own care preferentially. They just want a two-tiered system for everyone else. Logic dictates patients will go where they get the most bang for their buck and save more in time and money since physicians have fewer referrals and order less studies.
Bottom line: NPPs are not physicians and never will be, regardless of the shenanigans in which they engage to deceive the public. Do not be fooled. The emperor is naked people. Naked as a jaybird.