Turf Battles Emerge As Non-Physician Health Workers Step In To Fill Gaps

Also in the news, home health care aides are waiting for new labor rules which will determine whether they receive minimum wage.

The Wall Street Journal/US News: Battles Erupt Over Filling Doctors' Shoes
As physician assistants and other midlevel health professionals fill growing gaps in primary health care, turf battles are erupting in many states over what they can and can't do in medical practices. One of the bitterest fights is in Kentucky, where physician assistants are lobbying the state legislature to repeal a law that says that for the first 18 months after certification, physician assistants are allowed to treat patients only when a supervising physician is on site. Being in phone contact isn't deemed sufficient (Beck, 2/3).

NPR: Home Care Aides Await Decision On New Labor Rules
Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime (2/3).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.