Op-ed on healthcare reform calls for expanded role of nurse practitioners in Texas

SAN ANTONIO An opinion piece written for the San Antonio Express-News urges health reform in Texas and the need for nurse practitioners to be "given the right to diagnose and prescribe on their own," as done in retail clinics.


"Texas has only a few retail clinics; San Antonio doesn't have any. The problem is cost," David Hendricks wrote Tuesday. "In Texas, state law requires doctors to be on site for 20% of operating hours in urban areas. In rural and designated medically underserved areas, a doctor must review 10% of a clinic's charts every 10 days. The cost of physician oversight is too high for [the Walgreens and CVS chains], along with the retail clinic companies, to roll out full market coverage in Texas."


Hendricks does, however, point out retail clinics' cost-effectiveness, citing the acceptance of health insurance plans, with fees capped at less than $100.


"Healthcare reform won't mean as much as it could in Texas until this change (expanding the role of nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists) happens," Hendricks concluded.



To view Hendricks' piece, click here.

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