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Just what the nurse practitioner ordered: Independent prescriptive authority and population mental health

Diane Alexander and Molly Schnell

Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 66, issue C, 145-162

Abstract: We examine whether relaxing occupational licensing to allow nurse practitioners (NPs)—registered nurses with advanced degrees—to prescribe medication without physician oversight improves population mental health. Exploiting time-series variation in independent prescriptive authority for NPs from 1990 to 2014, we find that broadening prescriptive authority leads to improvements in self-reported mental health and decreases in mental health–related mortality. These improvements are concentrated in areas that are underserved by physicians and among populations that have difficulty accessing physician-provided care. Our results demonstrate that extending independent prescriptive authority to NPs can help mitigate physician shortages and extend care to disadvantaged populations.

Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Just What the Nurse Practitioner Ordered: Independent Prescriptive Authority and Population Mental Health (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:66:y:2019:i:c:p:145-162

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.04.004

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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