AmSpa News Alert: Illinois Nurse Practitioners Get Expanded Role

The Illinois legislature recently revised the Medical Practice Act to give nurse practitioners more autonomy and freedom. The American Med Spa Association's Associate General Counsel Renee Coover explains what this means to your practice.

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Renee Coover, JD

Illinois is one of many states that are starting to relax the decades-old scope of practice laws to allow APNs more autonomy in playing a lead role in patient care.

Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) March 31, 2014

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a new law amending the Medical Practice Act of 1987 to expand the role of Advanced Practice Nurses, including nurse practitioners. According to the amendment, Nurse Practitioners may now operate more independently, which makes them more valuable to the med spa industry.

Prior to the passage of this new law, which amends Section 54.5 of the Medical Practice Act, Nurse Practitioners (NP’s) were limited to practicing only those medical services that the NP’s collaborating physician provided to patients in his or her clinical medical practice. The written collaborative agreements required between NP and their collaborating physicians (which laid out the details of the collaborative arrangement) were also restricted to services the collaborating physician provided to patients. For instance, an APN working in a medical spa that wanted to inject Botox or perform laser hair removal treatments was restricted from doing so unless the APN’s collaborating physician specialized in these treatments and included them as part of his or her normal patient practice. This was very limiting to APNs because the rules erected artificial barriers to the types of patients APNs could treat and the types of medical services APNs could perform.

But effective as of January 1, 2014, the Illinois Medical Practice Act has been amended to state that “the written collaborative agreement shall be [between an APN and a collaborating physician] for services the collaborating physician generally provides or may provide in his or her clinical medical practice.” The addition of the phrase “or may provide” removes the requirement that APNs can only provide medical services that are also provided by their collaborating physician.

According to a statement on the IDFPR website from Manuel Flores, Acting Secretary of the IDFPR, “this law reflects the growing respect of APNs among the health care community and the public they serve.” The new law changes the statutory relationship between APNs and collaborating physicians to expand the categories of patients an APN may treat and the services they may perform, effectively expanding the role of the APN in the medical industry.

“Illinois is one of many states that are starting to relax the decades-old scope of practice laws to allow APNs more autonomy in playing a lead role in patient care,” said Attorney Renee E. Coover, Associate General Counsel for the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa). APNs are filling the physician gap and they now have the freedom to provide medical services to patients even if their collaborating physician doesn’t offer those services.”

According to AmSpa, every state has different rules and regulations regarding the role and scope of practice for APNs and several states are updating their laws to fill the ever-growing physician shortage. Check with your state regulatory board or an experienced attorney who specializes in medical spa law for the rules and regulations specific to your state.

To read the full text of the amended changes to Section 54.5 of the Illinois Medical Practice Act, click here.

AmSpa was created for the express purpose of providing answers to the many questions arising from the vague and complex regulations governing medical spas. We have partnered with qualified law firms across the country to summarize the rules and regulations in each state in an easy to understand format. If an industry professional or consumer has a question about med spa laws in their particular state, we’ll have the answer. In addition, AmSpa provides comprehensive, relevant, timely resources and education such as webinars, seminars and workshops. Some additional benefits of AmSpa include an industry specific job board, advertising discounts, training courses, insurance, banking, credit card acceptance, consulting services and products. For additional information, go to: http://www.americanmedspa.org or call (312) 981-0993.