A collaborative practice agreement (CPA) is a legal document that outlines the collaborative partnership between a licensed healthcare provider and a physician. In Utah, a CPA is required for certified nurse practitioners (CNPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to practice independently.
The purpose of a CPA is to establish a formal agreement between the CNP or PA and the collaborating physician that outlines the scope of practice, responsibilities, and communication requirements. This agreement ensures that patients receive high-quality healthcare services that are consistent with the laws and regulations governing healthcare in Utah.
A collaborative practice agreement in Utah must include the following:
1. Identification of the CNP or PA and the collaborating physician
2. Scope of practice and patient population served
3. Provisions for physician supervision and consultation
4. Communication requirements, including methods, frequency, and documentation
5. Recordkeeping and confidentiality policies
6. Liability and malpractice insurance coverage
Once a CPA is established, the CNP or PA may practice independently within the scope of their respective licenses. They may diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications to patients, as long as they adhere to the terms of the agreement. Additionally, the collaborating physician must be available for consultation and must review a percentage of patient charts on a regular basis.
It is important to note that a CPA is not a substitute for professional liability insurance. Both the CNP or PA and the collaborating physician must carry their own liability insurance policies.
In conclusion, a collaborative practice agreement is an essential component of healthcare delivery in Utah. It ensures patient safety, high-quality healthcare services, and compliance with state and federal regulations. If you are a CNP or PA practicing in Utah, it is crucial to establish a CPA with a collaborating physician before practicing independently.