The Legislature Should Pass AB 890 to Help Close California’s Provider Gap
California’s health provider gap is reducing access to care for millions and threatening our state’s health coverage expansion goals. AB 890 will help close this gap by removing restrictions in current law that prevent nurse practitioners (NPs) from practicing without a physician present or on-call.
Seven million Californians already experience shortfalls of primary care, dental care, or behavioral health care providers. California’s provider gap is a critical issue that needs to be addressed.
These shortages are impacting Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans the most, in some of our fastest growing regions such as Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, San Joaquin Valley, and in most rural areas.
Currently in California, NPs are unable to practice without a physician present or on-call. Yet, independent experts have identified removing this restriction as an important strategy to ensure that California patients have access to care.
AB 890 would remove the supervisory requirement in existing law enabling NPs to provide the same high-quality care they do today and to care more directly for patients. It does not expand their scope of practice.
NPs Provide Value to Patients and to the Health Care System
Experts recognize that NPs provide high-quality care and are more likely to practice primary care than physicians, particularly in rural and underserved areas. NPs are also more likely to see and take on new Medi-Cal and uninsured patients, which is critical to California’s goals to expand coverage to underserved populations and to expand Medi-Cal coverage.
Without AB 890, the provider gap will continue to increase.
There are simply not enough primary care physicians completing residency programs to replace retiring physicians. Because NPs cannot practice without physician oversight, fewer physicians leaves fewer NPs to treat patients. https://closetheprovidergap.com