Nurse Practitioners For WC Can Be A Cost Saver
In my last post, I covered how plant nurses can save employers $$. I mentioned Nurse Practitioners (NP’s) as one of the recommended types of plant nurses. I received a few inquiries on exactly who are NP’s. Nurse Practitioners do have their place as plant nurses even though the upfront cost for NP’s are usually more than RN’s.
The NP website is here. The services they provide are:
- Order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays
- Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
- Prescribe medications and other treatments
- Manage patients’ overall care
- Spend time counseling patients
- Help patients learn how their actions affect their health and well-being
The first time that I had come across an NP was as a plant nurse for a home builder in NC. The company’s E-Mod was almost 2.0 and rising every year. The owner of the home builder made a great risk management move by hiring in a Nurse Practitioner. The home builder’s Mod dropped from 2.0 to 1.3 in four years. The company closed in the late 90’s.
NP’s can be a very expensive plant nurse option. There are three instances where NP’s would be recommended in a company with:
- An E-Mod of 1.8 or higher
- A large payroll
- Centralized operations (one plant or many plants with a central location)
The cost of an NP would be more easily absorbed by a company that is paying a large premium or a self insured. I would estimate the breakeven point for having an NP on staff would be approximately $350,000 or more in premiums.
I have not really pointed out how NP’s are different from RN’s or LPN’s. The link above will explain the difference in detail. The one advantage that I see is the ability to prescribe medications. NP’s can also treat injuries to a further degree than an RN. There are many websites that cover NP’s including Wikipedia.
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