Beyond Physicians: The Effect of Licensing and Liability Laws on the Supply of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

64 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2018

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 07/27/2017

Abstract

The increased use of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) represents an important option for increasing access to healthcare. I explore the effect of two types of laws on the supply of NPs and PAs: (1) occupational licensing laws that limit the practices of NPs and PAs and (2) caps on noneconomic damages. I find that relaxing licensing laws to allow NPs to practice with less physician oversight increases the supply of NPs in areas with few practicing physicians by 60 percent—though the size of this increase decreases as the supply of physicians increases. I find a similar effect of licensing laws that grant greater PA autonomy on the supply of PAs, but this effect is not consistently statistically significant. Noneconomic damages caps increase the supply of both NPs and PAs by about 60 percent at the lowest levels of physician supply, but the size of this increase decreases as the physician supply grows. I also examine the effects of these laws on the probability that a county contains a health professional shortage area. The results of this analysis indicate that licensing laws have meaningful effects on access to care.

Suggested Citation

McMichael, Benjamin J., Beyond Physicians: The Effect of Licensing and Liability Laws on the Supply of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants (07/27/2017). MERCATUS WORKING PAPER. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3191517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3191517

Benjamin J. McMichael (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
18
Abstract Views
170
PlumX Metrics