NP independence could boost savings from retail clinics

Giving nurse practitioners the ability to practice independently in states where they can't already would add to the cost advantage that retail clinics have over other providers, a new Health Affairs study found. The study, in the November issue, cited estimates that retail clinics will account for 10 percent of outpatient primary care visits in 2015, and forecast that cost savings would total $2.2 billion if there continues to be strict oversight of NPs. There would be an additional $810 million saved if all states allowed NPs to practice independently and $472 million if NPs could both practice and prescribe independently, the authors claim.

N.Y. hospitals selected to join nurse leadership and innovation program

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses selected the last round of hospitals to participate in the preliminary national rollout of its hospital-based AACN Clinical Scene Investigator Academy. The program offers hands-on, team-oriented education designed to empower bedside nurses as clinician leaders and also teach them how to effect operational changes. Over 16 months, teams of up to four nurses from each hospital will work with CSI faculty, an internal mentor and a chief nursing officer to identify issues needing attention, and then work to find solutions that improve quality and save money. The seven New York hospitals bring the total number of participating hospitals to 42.

UCSF center to study future of health care workforce

The University of California, San Francisco unveiled its Health Workforce Research Center, which will study the ability of the workforce to meet the demands of a society that increasingly will require ongoing care from licensed and unlicensed health care workers. "We believe that the demand for these workers will increase significantly," says Joanne Spetz, director of the center, professor of economics at the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and associate director of research strategy at the UCSF Center for the Health Professions.