Advanced Practice Forum 
hosted by Monica Cox,  ARNP-BC, DNP, MSN, MPH

 Fostering Evidence Based Quality Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Editorial Page

 

 

 

 

Who Manages Your Health Assets?

Author:  Monica Cox, ARNP-BC

Most patients believe their physician manage their prescriptions, medical test results, medical test interpretations, and plan of care.  Wrong, it is their medical assistants who are practicing delegated medicine and prescribing for you, renewing your medications without critical inquiry, and calling you with abnormal results of your tests. These medical assistants go to a vo-tech type of school for a short time to get certificates or to be registered by the State as medical assistants. Some do not even have high school diplomas and most do not have college degrees but it is a way for them to get jobs in medical offices to support them. Physicians are most eager to delegate the practice of medicine to them including prescribing your medications. They mindlessly renew your medications without giving a second thought to the fact you need labs or an office visit to re-evaluate your use of these drugs.

The danger to your health and well-being is enormous if you continue to allow them to practice medicine on you. Important findings are missed because you did not have an office evaluation by your provider or the necessary labs to know that you are safe to continue these medications. For individuals on thyroid medications a TSH level is required as many times patients are found to have drug-induced hyperthyroidism that can cause Atrial Fibrillation and a Stroke. Diabetics need to have the appropriate tests to know that they are on the right medications and dose to control their blood glucose. Individuals with high blood pressure need an office visit for evaluation of their medications to make sure that hypertension is controlled.

Many times patients are called with test results and they are given the wrong information which gives them a false sense of security. Medical Assistants cannot explain pathology or lab results from a medical standpoint. They were never trained or educated to practice medicine so why do we allow them to do that. We call it DELEGATION. If someone does not have a driver’s license to drive you cannot delegate for them to drive so why is this practice tolerated and also approved by major health care companies. Is it so their Doctors do not have to work so hard or is it because they want them to see more and more patients to increase their profits so they delegate the practice of medicine to non-providers?  To add to the problem these medical assistants call themselves nurses leading the naïve patient population to believe they are dealing with a licensed nurse whom they have trust in. This is fraudulent and this practice must be stopped. 

As health asset managers for consumers of health care we need to educate our patients to ask the right questions of their health care provider as to who is managing their health assets and who is prescribing for them. Demand that your licensed provider whether a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant calls you personally with test results or follows up with you at an office visit. Demand that they alone are the providers prescribing for you and ordering your tests. Your future health depends on this call to action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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