The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State Applauds Modernization
of New York State Workers’ Compensation Law Expanding Access to
Care for Injured Workers
NEW YORK (April 3, 2019) - A long-standing barrier that prevented nurse practitioners from treating injured workers receiving workers’ compensation benefits has been lifted, as a result of the adoption of the New York State budget. Due to statutory changes made to New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law, injured workers can choose to be treated by independent nurse practitioners, effective January 1, 2020.
“This is a victory for New Yorkers,” says Michelle Applebaum, PhD, FNP, PNP, president of The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (The NPA). “These changes will ensure that workers injured on the job will have greater access to care by adding nurse practitioners to the list of medical professionals identified as care providers under the workers compensation system.”
Officially recognizing the scope of practice
Nurse practitioners in New York are often the primary care provider of choice. For decades, they have been permitted to independently diagnose illnesses and physical conditions, perform therapeutic and corrective measures, prescribe medications, order tests, devises and immunizing agents, and refer patients to other health care providers and specialists.
Until now, however, the Workers’ Compensation Law, which was initially enacted years before the nurse practitioner scope of practice law, did not appropriately account for the role of the nurse practitioner in New York. As a result, injured workers who wished to see their nurse practitioners have been statutorily barred from doing so.
Modernizing the Workers’ Compensation system reflects the current health care delivery system in which nurse practitioners are central to the delivery of primary care. “Expanding access to additional qualified healthcare providers will increase the availability of quality care, reduce costs to the system and ensure injured workers return to work in a timely fashion,” says Stephen Ferrara, DNP, FNP, FAANP, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at Columbia University School of Nursing and Executive Director of the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State. “We thank Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Heastie, and the Workers’ Compensation Board for their perseverance in ensuring adoption of this important reform.”
The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have completed advanced education, at a Master‘s or Doctorate level, plus additional clinical preparation. These professionals are authorized to independently diagnose illness and physical conditions, perform therapeutic and corrective measures, order tests, prescribe medications, devices and immunizing agents, and refer patients to other health care providers. The Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (The NPA), the only statewide professional association of nurse practitioners, promotes high standards of healthcare delivery through the empowerment of nurse practitioners and the profession throughout New York State. For more information, visit www.TheNPA.org.