As the new year approaches, a new era also looms for California medicine, and the changes are not due only to the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Other big changes will come as pharmacists expand their role in patient care and nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physican assistants begin performing first-trimester abortions – unless a current attempt to qualify a referendum to stop the abortion expansion qualifies for next November’s ballot and delays it by a year.
Even larger changes may come in 2015, depending on how the newly expanded roles for non-physicians work out.
Although he did not carry the abortion-related bill, the effort to bestow new privileges on non-doctors is spearheaded by Democratic state Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina, who achieved only part of his goals this year. Hernandez, an optometrist, also sought wider privileges for both nurse practitioners and his own profession...