Policy Proposals

Removing Anticompetitive Barriers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Physician Assistants

June 13, 2018
Health Care

The Problem

Health-care services in the United States are excessively costly, inefficient, and lacking in competitive pressures. In addition, many health outcomes in the United States lag behind those of other countries. Restrictive scope of practice laws for physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses are one of the barriers preventing needed productivity gains in the health-care sector.

The Proposal

The authors propose that states implement fully authorized scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses. Similarly, they propose that states allow the details of the relationship between physician assistants and physicians to be determined at the practice level. They also encourage the federal government to help facilitate this shift by relaxing scope of practice rules within agencies that provide health care, disseminating best practices, and funding research on the effects of scope of practice laws.