Nurses Replace Doctors in Massachusetts

I have long advocated allowing nurses to perform whatever services the market is willing to bear. What is happening under RomneyCare is different. People are turning to nurses because they can’t find a doctor who will see them:

Liz D’Alesio has opened a primary care office for adults in Milford, Mass. [She] has 10 new patients. She prescribes their medications, orders their labs, performs diagnostic testing and provides wellness advice.

But D’Alesio isn’t a doctor. She’s a nurse practitioner who, thanks to a law passed last year, was allowed to open her own practice in Hopedale to provide primary care services last month.

D’Alesio, who is certified in critical care, adult and women’s health, has been working as a nurse practitioner for more than 20 years and felt now was the time to strike out on her own and fill a need for local patients.

Locally, D’Alesio said the wait time to see a new primary care physician is upward of nine months.

Source: The MetroWest Daily News.

Comments (12)

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  1. JD says:

    The market finds a way. Good to see that reliance on nurses for more pedestrian health care needs is growing. Unfortunately, people are doing it out of desperation.

  2. Perry says:

    The ACA did not address manpower when it was passed, nor has CMS resolved payment issues for Medicare/Medicaid fully. This means less access for all the newly insured, not to mention the previously insured, and Medicare population. Someone has to take up the slack, so it will likely fall to “extended providers”. I seems, however that many of the NPs and PAs are also pursuing more lucrative specialties than Primary Care. Which begs the question, “Who will take care of us?”

  3. Linda Gorman says:

    Given that few people seem to find fault with this, remind me again why we have medical licensing?

    • Rutledge says:

      How often has your doctor told you something that simply blew your mind?

      Most of the time, a doctor provides logic to one’s life (eat healthy, rest 7-8 hours a night, don’t fill your life with stress).

      Most of the time, the Doc is just needed for a signature. Which I don’t mind allowing an “untrained” nurse to do handle.

      Now if I feel like something is really wrong with me? Sure, I’ll deal with the cost and time spent waiting for the licensed doctor.

  4. Rutledge says:

    Very good to see!

    Maybe this will but some pressure on Primary Care doctors to become more efficient without cutting quality.

  5. Studebaker says:

    Without medical licensure, the AMA and state medical societies would have to advertise their superior medical training directly to patients. Medical licensing allows medical societies to more easily capture the regulatory bodies that govern the practice of medicine, erect barriers to entry and create an exclusive cartel.