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FAQs

Membership FAQs

Why should I become a member?

When you join the California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP), you enter a close-knit community where information and ideas are freely exchanged, helping members stay at the top of their profession and play a powerful role in health care today.

Once I'm a member, how do I become involved?

All members are encouraged to get involved, and your level of engagement is entirely up to you. Some of the opportunities include:

How do I renew my membership?

You can renew your membership by one of the following methods:

There's a lot of emphasis on "advocacy." What does that mean for me?

CANP has a long history of being actively engaged in the legislative process, educating legislators and policy makers about the role nurse practitioners play in California's health care delivery system, and protecting and expanding NP practice. Through its advocacy efforts, CANP helps thousands of nurse practitioners speak as one, providing a collective voice in the State Capitol.

How does CANP help me earn continuing education credits?

Our Annual Educational Conference is the state’s only event focused exclusively on continuing education for advanced practice nursing. Each year, CANP leaders work with members to design a program of courses featuring some of the most influential figures in the industry. That’s in addition to other educational opportunities that CANP membership delivers.

What other benefits do I get as a CANP member?

The benefits of CANP membership include discounts on products, services and resources vital to you and your practice. These include items that make routine tasks easier, tools for managing your practice, and information channels that expand your knowledge base – as well as your career opportunities.

As a CANP member, do I automatically become an AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners) member?

You do not automatically become a member of AANP when you join CANP. However, CANP members do receive a discounted rate on AANP membership.

What methods are acceptable for payment for membership?

CANP accepts personal and business checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We also offer members the ability to pay in four equal quarterly payments. You can even arrange automatic renewal payments – for the full year or on a quarterly basis – by selecting the Auto Pay option when choosing your member type. Please note that if you select the Auto Pay option you are not eligible to receive the Controlled Substance II course at no charge.

How long does my membership last?

Membership expires one year from the join date.

How do you become a CANP member?

Complete and submit the online membership application, or download, print and complete this membership form, then mail it, along with payment, to:
CANP, 1415 L Street, Suite 1000, Sacramento, CA 95814

Controlled Substance II FAQs

How do I apply for Controlled Substance II Authority if I already have a Drug Enforcement Administration number?

Complete a Board of Registered Nursing-Approved Controlled Substance II (CS II) Authority Course. Submit the Continuing Education certificate, a written request for CS II Authority and a copy of the course outline to the following address:

California Board of Registered Nursing
Advanced Practice Unit
PO Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 94244-2100

I am a student nurse practitioner. Do I need to attend a CS II Authority Course prior to obtaining my furnishing license?

If you are currently enrolled in an NP program, inquire with your educational institution regarding their plan to include this content if you have already completed your pharmacology course. Most, if not all, NP programs are including a separate lecture with the BRN-required content if the students have already finished their pharmacology course.

If current law requires the patient's provider to write the prescription for CS II medication, how do we handle refills when I am covering for other doctors and nurse practitioners if I do not have an established relationship with the patient?

California’s Health and Safety Code Section 11154 (a) states: “Except in the regular practice of his or her profession, no person shall knowingly prescribe, administer, dispense, or furnish a controlled substance to or for any person or animal which is not under his or her treatment for a pathology or condition…” You may want to speak to an attorney for your specific situation if you are covering for other health care providers whose patients may require CS II medications in their absence. CANP offers members three free legal consultations per year with an attorney who is also a licensed NP.

How will the pharmacist know that the patient is terminally ill if I send in a CS II prescription on a regular prescription blank?

California law does not require a health care provider to utilize anti-fraud prescription blanks for CS medications if the patient is certified as “terminally ill” as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 11159.2 (d). The prescription must indicate that the prescriber has certified that the patient is terminally ill by printing the words "11159.2 exemption" on the prescription blank. Certification can only be made by a physician.

Does the physician's name and DEA number need to appear on the Anti-Fraud Prescription Blank?

No, California law was changed and no longer requires the physician’s name and DEA number on a prescription pad of an NP. The California Board of Registered Nursing and California State Board of Pharmacy concur with this answer.

I heard there is a required Controlled Substances section for the Furnishing standardized procedure. Can you tell me what this is?

Yes, the SP must include a “patient-specific protocol” for CS II and III; additionally, the SP must address the diagnosis of illness, injury, or condition for which the CS II is to be furnished. Refer to details in the Business and Professions code.

View an example of controlled substance furnishing protocols.

Common Practice Questions

The manager of my county family clinic wants me to do 100 hours with a pediatrician before seeing pediatric patients. Is this within my scope of practice?

The BRN website FAQ document addresses a similar question, stating:

You must first be clinically competent to provide care to this new patient population. Clinically competent is defined in California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 1480(c) as “…to possess and exercise the degree of learning, skill, care and experience ordinarily possessed and exercised by a member of the appropriate discipline in clinical practice.” In this instance, you would have to demonstrate knowledge and skills comparable to those of an adult nurse practitioner. Clinical competence in this new specialty can be achieved by successful completion of theory course(s) and a supervised clinical practicum at an advanced level for the new patient population.

The Standardized Procedure guidelines requirements show that a disease format can be used. This seems difficult to develop for a Primary Care outpatient setting. Does CANP have advice on templates?

Most facilities use the standardized procedure rather than a disease based format because it is nearly impossible to cover every clinical problem that could materialize. The BRN has posted the standardized procedure guidelines. You will also need the furnishing piece of it in which you must list all drugs and devices that you will furnish. We have included the link to the pharmacy regulations.

I was told I can't be reimbursed for doing Medi-Cal first trimester dating ultrasounds. Is this true?

Upon researching the Medi-Cal policies, we do not see anything that precludes the NP from performing and billing for 1st trimester ultrasounds. We have included the link to the Medi-Cal early pregnancy document for you to utilize as necessary. We have also copied the announcement that went out regarding NP's ability to bill Medi-Cal.

“After much discussion with the staff at the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), they have expedited their state plan amendment processes and are now granting Medi-Cal provider numbers to nurse practitioners, which will allow NPs to bill directly for services provided, rather than under a physician's number. AB 1591, Chan, Chapter 719, Statutes of 2006 requires DHCS to permit a certified nurse practitioner to bill Medi-Cal independently for his or her services. Further, the statute requires that the Department make payment directly to the certified nurse practitioner if he or she bills independently for his or her services. 14132.41 (b) defined ‘certified’ as ‘nationally board certified in a recognized specialty.’ The code does not limit or specify which certifications will be recognized or accepted by Medi-Cal.”

DHCS issued this provider bulletin with more detail implementing this change — see item #17 referenced in this link.

I really want to get some education on acupuncture to provide it for my patients, but according to the BRN there is no provision for practicing acupuncture as an NP in California.

Nurse practitioners are not specifically authorized to offer acupuncture and the state acupuncture licensing board is very clear defining who is allowed to offer acupuncture. If you have taken the required certification courses and licensed with the state, you are allowed to offer acupuncture but you would need to make this clear in your practice, that you are functioning as an acupuncturist.

My practice is starting a Medication Assisted Treatment Program for opioid and alcohol addiction. We are currently building the program from the ground up with an MD, substance abuse counselor, and myself. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

In order to prescribe Buprenorphine, you must complete additional training. See this presentation from AANP about how to do this. Several California NPs have completed the education and received the authorization from the DEA to prescribe Suboxone.

What is your opinion about online NP programs?

There is a proliferation of these types of programs across the country and the students will vary based on faculty and program. Something to remember is that universities are moving significant portions of education online for cost-savings and student preference. Online forums allow working students to participate more easily, opening up this population to higher education opportunities.

What is the office manager's relationship with the NP?

The office manager is responsible for the operations of the office — scheduling, billing and the like. They do not/should not have clinical oversight of clinical staff in the office unless they are also a clinical staff, but do not have legal authority over a clinical staff person of a higher license. This means that an office manager who is also a medical assistant can have clinical oversight of other MAs in the office, but not RNs, NPs, physicians, etc.

Common Legal Questions

Can Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNPs) be called "Doctor" in clinical settings?

There is no case statute or law that states DNPs cannot be called “doctor” in a clinical setting in California. Some states have enacted legislation to prevent DNPs from being called doctor. These measures have not been found to be unconstitutional. However, the BRN’s concern is that patients will think the DNP is a physician and the DNP will have to demonstrate that the patient was informed that he or she was an NP, not a physician.

Can NPs sign death certificates?

No, they cannot. The death certificate must be signed by a physician.

What laws govern billing?

Only Medicare and Medi-Cal name nurse practitioners. Some private and HMO insurance allow NPs on their panels. However, many private and HMO insurances do not allow NPs on their panels. It is the decision of the insurance companies, not a law. Frequently, NPs have to bill under their collaborating physician. It may be necessary to call the insurance companies to ask how they want billing done for NPs.

How long does a physician have to send me (NP) medical records?

There is no set time period. The patient must sign a release form before another physician can send the NP records. The release form states who the records are being released to. The physician cannot argue that the medical records can only be sent to another physician. The patient can release his/her medical records to whomever they wish. The process should not take more than a couple of weeks. The physician transferring the records can charge a reasonable copying fee. If the physician continues to refuse to transfer medical records, you can report him/her to the Medical Board.

I left my place of employment as an independent contractor due to many issues and the physician is withholding my paycheck because he/she said I abandoned my patients. What recourse do I have?

As an independent contractor you cannot take advantage of the U.S. Department of Labor's assistance in getting your paycheck. However, you can sue in small claims court for back wages if it is not more than $10,000. If it is more than $10,000, you will have to file a suit in civil court. As far as abandonment, it is very difficult to prove in a primary care practice where there are other health care providers who can take your patients.

I am leaving my employment due to many issues and the physician is refusing to give me my last paycheck and is threatening to report me for abandoning patients. What do I do?

The physician cannot refuse to pay you for services performed. Abandoning a patient indicates you are leaving that patient without anyone to care for him/her. This is a common threat. However, an NP must be able to demonstrate that there were other providers to see the patients assigned to the NP. Usually a 30-day notice is considered sufficient time for the patient to get another healthcare provider. If the physician terminates the NP before 30 days, it is the physician’s responsibility to provide the appropriate care.

Is there a set rule as to the incentives the physician receives by a collaborating NP?

You need to be very careful in this area as an NP cannot pay the collaborating physician individual-to-individual, as this is against the corporate practice of medicine. You need to speak to an attorney about your individual situation to determine if you are following the law. If following the law, payments can vary from no fee to $500-$3,000 or more. It depends also on your type of practice.

I have a Medicare number and am being told I cannot use it.

Many physicians prefer to bill "incident to" because they can receive 100% of the physician rate. That may be why you are being told you cannot use your own number. However, when billing incident to, you must be very careful, as a physician must be on the premises. The physician must also be an integral part of the patient’s care. If a physician is not on the premises, you must use your own number and bill at 85% of the physician rate. Review and understand the definition of incident to billing before you become involved in-patient care and billing.

Can an NP work as an independent contractor?

A new ruling and law came down from the California Supreme Court on May 8, 2018, It is called the “ABC Test” for Independent Contractor. In order for the NP to be an Independent Contractor, the hiring entity must establish each of three following factors:

  • that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact
  • that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business
  • that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

If any of these factors are not met, the NP cannot be an independent contractor.

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