News from DC

Scope of practice update: New HHS report promotes expansion for nonphysician providers

Help the AOA advocate against inappropriate scope of practice expansion efforts by sharing your story.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Department of Treasury and the Department of Labor released a report titled “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition.” The report outlined several controversial proposals regarding expanding the scope of practice for nonphysician providers and changing the funding of the graduate medical education program.

Lawmakers continue to write bills that will affect you and your patients. Data shows that expansion of independent practice rights for nonphysician providers can lead to patients being prescribed more drugs than if they saw a physician. It can also lead to unnecessary diagnostic imaging and lower-quality referrals to specialists. While this data will help the AOA in its advocacy efforts, we also need to hear from you.

Lawmakers need to hear stories of how this has affected their constituents. Have you seen a patient whose health was negatively impacted by care from a nonphysician health care provider? Have your patients experienced unnecessary costs because a nonphysician provider ordered unnecessary diagnostic imaging or tests? Have your patients been prescribed drugs that they didn’t need? Tell the AOA today so we can better address these issues.

Tell your story here.

The AOA opposes any legislation or regulations which would authorize the independent practice of medicine by an individual who has not completed the state’s requirements for physician licensure. The organization has been actively pushing back against scope of practice expansion efforts and has been successful in preventing them in several states.

Learn more:

DOs help defeat bills that seek to cut doctors out of health care

6 recent scope of practice wins for DOs


  1. Michael

    The healthcare field is being flooded by nurse practitioners, many of whom claim to be specialists such as cardiologists, family physicians, and endocrinologists. These individuals do not undergo the scrutiny of residence training or board certification exams, and as a result, virtually none of them are qualified to be independent practitioners. Yet HHS and the insurance industry empower them to practice what is for the most part substandard medicine. I am very tired of this.
    I am a retired board certified surgeon with four subspecialty certifications, and according to the powers that be, I am less qualified than a nurse practitioner. At times I have considered working part time in an ER, Urgent Care, and even a neighborhood free clinic, and I have been told repeatedly that I am not qualified. Yet these marginally educated and marginally trained nurse practitioners are employed by all of these!

    1. Bret Sebastian, D.O

      Amen, brother! We need more physicians involved in the state legislatures to stop this from happening. There is no other way. We also need to hold the AMA and AOA leadership accountable to use the media to change the public perception that somehow 4 years of nursing school, a year of online classes, and however many hours of self-selected precepting are somehow equivalent. Battle, leaders, don’t back down! They should at least be required to do like a transitional internship year in an ACGME-like program.
      Most transitional medical internships alone are close to 4000 hours in one year. I will say the Neonatal NP’s have done something right in their training because the ones I have worked with in the NICU’s have all been fabulous.

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