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Easing nurse practitioner laws may save money at clinics

Reuters, November 27, 2013
Relaxing restrictions on what services nurse practitioners can and can't provide may lead to cost savings at retail health clinics, suggests a new study. Researchers found care related to retail health clinic visits cost $34 less in states that allowed nurse practitioners to prescribe and practice independently than in states that required them to be supervised by a doctor. "It appears there are cost savings when those nurse practitioners are allowed to operate autonomously in the retail clinic settings," Joanne Spetz told Reuters Health. Spetz is the study's lead author and a professor at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco.