Seven Reasons to Keep the Health Care Team Together

Many physicians across the state, as well as the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), support physician-led, team-based care, in which all health care team members work together collaboratively, but the physician is the leader of the team.

Legislation introduced in both the House (House Bill 765) and Senate (Senate Bill 717), proposes an unacceptable alternative — allowing certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNPs) to practice independently without a link to the team through their collaborative agreement with a physician.

Why keep the team together? Here are seven reasons:

  1. Increasing the responsibility of CRNPs is not the solution to shortage of physicians.
  2. The best and most effective care occurs when a team of health care professionals with complementary — not interchangeable — skills work together.
  3. The collaborative requirement between CRNPs and physicians enhances rather than impedes the ability of CRNPs to deliver quality patient care.
  4. The education and training of a CRNP falls significantly short of the education and training of a physician.
  5. Collaborative requirements do not prevent CRNPs from currently practicing in rural and underserved areas.
  6. Current licensure standards are not arbitrary; they serve an especially important function in supporting critical safety and quality objectives.
  7. A majority of states require CRNPs to have a physician’s collaboration or supervision in order to practice, with many states requiring even more stringent oversight than what currently exists in Pennsylvania.

Learn more in PAMED’s “Keep the Team” informational handout.

Urge your state legislators to maintain physician-led, team-based care across Pennsylvania, and oppose SB 717, HB 765, and any other proposals that would allow CRNPs to obtain independent licensure and eliminate collaborative agreements between CRNPs and physicians. Read the full call to action.

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