The role of restrictive scope-of-practice regulations on the delivery of nurse practitioner-delivered home-based primary care

Zainab Toteh Osakwe, Bian Liu, Claire K. Ankuda, Christine S. Ritchie, Bruce Leff, Katherine A. Ornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nurse practitioners (NPs) are the largest group of providers delivering home-based primary care (HBPC) in the U.S. We examined the association of scope-of-practice regulations and NP-HBPC rates. Methods: Using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Provider Utilization and Payment Data Public Use File for 2019, we conducted a state-level analysis to examine the impact of scope-of-practice regulations on the utilization of NP-HBPC. Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes were used to identify the HBPC visits in private residences (99341–99,345, 99,347–99,350) and domiciliary settings (99324–99,328, 99,334–99,337). We used linear regression to compare NP-HBPC utilization rates between states of either restricted or reduced scope-of-practice laws to states with full scope-of-practice, adjusting for a number of NP-HBPC providers, state ranking of total assisted living, the proportion of fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries and neighborhood-level socio-economic status and race and ethnicity. Results: Nearly half of NPs providing HBPC (46%; n = 7151) were in states with a restricted scope of practice regulations. Compared to states with full scope-of-practice, states with restricted or reduced scope-of-practice had higher adjusted rates of NP-HBPC per 1000 FFS Medicare beneficiaries. The average level of the utilization rate of NP-HBPC was 89.9, 63, and 49.1 visits, per 1000 FFS Medicare beneficiaries in states with restricted, reduced, and full- scope-of-practice laws, respectively. The rate of NP-HBPC visits was higher in states with restricted (Beta coefficient = 0.92; 95%CI 0.13–1.72; p = 0.023) and reduced scope-of-practice laws (Beta coefficient = 0.91; 95%CI 0.03–1.79; p = 0.043) compared to states with full scope-of-practice laws. Conclusion: Restricted state NP scope-of-practice regulations were associated with higher rates of FFS Medicare NP-HBPC care delivery compared with full or reduced scope-of-practice. Understanding underlying mechanisms of how scope-of-practice affects NP-HBPC delivery could help to develop scope-of-practice regulations that improve access to HBPC for the underserved homebound population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Medicare
  • aging
  • home-based primary care
  • nurse practitioner
  • scope-of-practice


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