Nurse practitioners, docs disagree on boosting role of NPs

Primary care physicians are not enthusiastic about nurse practitioners taking on a bigger role amid increased demand for more primary care, a survey in The New England Journal of Medicine concludes. The survey showed the clinicians to be sharply divided on the effects of increasing scope and supply. Just 17.2 percent of physicians agreed that nurse practitioners should be allowed to lead medical homes, while 82.2 percent of nurse practitioners think it's a good idea. Regarding a proposed increase in nurse practitioners, 31.2 percent of physicians said that would make patient safety worse, and 21.4 percent said it would get better. Among nurse practitioners, 77.5 percent said it would improve patient safety and 0.7 percent said it would get worse.

Wide range in physician on-call pay

On-call compensation for physicians in 2012 ranged from a high of a median $2,400 per day to a low of a median $75 per day, according to a survey conducted by the Medical Group Management Association. Surgical specialists received a median $1,000 per day in on-call compensation, while the median rate for primary care physicians was $150, according to the MGMA Medical Directorship and On-Call Compensation Survey for 2013. In addition, the MGMA found the use of on-call compensation to be on the upswing. "The number of organizations paying for call in some form or another appears to be increasing as new physicians enter the workforce," says Jeffrey Milburn, a consultant in the MGMA Health Care Consulting Group.

HHS seeks to boost veteran enrollment in BSN schools

Health & Human Services unveiled a program designed to assist military veterans with experience or training in health care to get bachelor of science degrees in nursing. Called the Veterans' Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and funded with $3 million through the third calendar quarter, HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration is seeking to encourage nursing schools selected for the program to expand their enrollment of veterans and figure out ways to give credit for their military experience.