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Doctors, non-physicians battle over medical turf

Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2013

SACRAMENTO -- A series of bills to expand the roles of nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals has set off a turf war with doctors over what non-physicians can and can't do in medical practices. Citing a doctor shortage in California, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) has proposed legislation that would redefine professional boundaries for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists to help treat what is expected to be a crush of newly insured Californians seeking care next year under the federal healthcare law. But physicians are pushing back, arguing that the proposed "scope of practice" changes would radically alter longstanding medical standards and jeopardize patient safety.