The editorial “Sometimes a lawyer is overkill” [April 15, Opinion] referred to limited legal license technicians (LLLTs) as akin to nurse practitioners (NPs): “ … for a lot of run-of-the-mill stuff, the nurse practitioner or LLLT is plenty, and much more affordable.”
This comment reveals a significant misunderstanding of the scope of practice of approximately 5,000 actively practicing Washington NPs who work in rural and urban areas. They provide primary care to people across the life span; psychiatric mental health care; care in hospitals; and specialty care such as neurology, oncology, gastroenterology and cardiology. NPs provide care for people with common problems and chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, heart failure, hepatitis C, seizure disorders, chronic pain, depression and anxiety, and for people who are at the end of life.
For a person experiencing any illness, there is nothing “run-of-the-mill.” As for affordability, the care provided by NPs is not billed at a lower rate, although private insurers reimburse only 85% of what is billed, pocketing the difference rather than returning it to the individual who received care.
I invite the editorial board to learn more about NPs before mischaracterizing the contributions we make to your health.
Louise Kaplan, Ph.D., ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, Olympia