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New Procedures for Nurse Practitioners under the NPMA

Daniel Comerford January 22, 2015 No comments Legal Blog Nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioner modernization act. NP. Collaboration. Collaboration agreement. Department of education. NPMA. Written agreement. Physician collaboration, Tarantino Law, the Tarantino Law Firm LLP

The dawn of the new year brought with it the inception of the Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act ("NPMA"). The NPMA modifies the collaborative relationship requirements for Nurse Practitioners ("NP") with greater than 3600 hours of practice (approximately 2 years, full-time). Experienced NPs are no longer required to have a signed written practice agreement with a physician as a condition of practicing. This law was designed to accommodate experienced NPs who could not afford or identify a physician willing to commit to a collaborative agreement or avoid the scenario where a physician discontinues the collaborative relationship through no fault of the NP. In essence, the law was created to reflect the reality of the collaborative practice of medicine that already exists amongst NPs, without such restrictive formality.

Specifically, for experienced NPs under the NPMA:

  • A signed written practice agreement with a collaborating physician is no longer required;
  • Practice protocols approved by the New York State Education Department are no longer required to be identified; and
  • The experienced NP is still required to maintain a relationship with a collaborative physician (or hospital that provides services through physicians), documented by a State Education Department attestation form, and continue to maintain documentation of any collaborative contact.

Hence, the NPMA allows experienced NPs to establish their own practice and removes the necessity of a formal physician collaborative agreement. As indicated in the NPMA,

The New York State Education Department has the right to examine any collaborative attestation or evidence relating to the collaborative relationship as part of its conduct oversight. As a precautionary matter, according to the NPMA, NPs should maintain the collaborative attestation and document any collaborative contact. NPs may consider including the date, time, collaborators, nature of the conversation, and any diagnosis or treatment plan reached as a result of the collaboration as part of their collaboration documentation.

As for new NPs, they will continue to practice under the pre-NPMA directives, which require a signed written practice agreement. Should you have any questions about the NPMA or your practice please do not hesitate to contact us.

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