ISMA joins push for physician-led VA medical care
The ISMA is joining AMA and 96 other national specialty and state medical associations to oppose a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule allowing virtually all nonphysician providers (NPPs) to practice without clinical supervision of a physician.

In a Jan. 7 letter, the medical associations ask Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie to rescind the VA Interim Final Rule (IFR) titled “Authority of VA Professionals to Practice Health Care.”

The letter asserts that, by allowing nonphysician providers to practice without clinical supervision by a physician, “the IFR preempts state license, registration, certification, supervision or other requirements.” It also says that “the IFR is unlawful rulemaking because the VA did not follow the normal notice and commenting process stipulated by the Administrative Procedures Act.” 

“NPPs are an integral part of physician-led health care teams,” the letter said. “However, NPPs cannot substitute for physicians, especially when it comes to diagnosing complex medical conditions, developing comprehensive treatment plans, ensuring that procedures are properly performed and managing highly involved and complicated patient cases.”

Nowhere is this more important than at the VA, which delivers multifaceted medical care to veterans, including those with traumatic brain injuries and other serious medical and mental health issues. As such, our nation’s veterans deserve high quality health care that is overseen by physicians.”

Read the entire text of the letter here.