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IV THERAPY: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?


It seems that IV Drip therapy business are popping up everywhere. If you can’t go to them, they will come to you.


Who is behind those businesses? A recent article in Newsday headlines with “The IV league: Vitamin infusion centers are a growth business on Long Island”.

If you go to an IV drip therapy business, make certain you find out who is behind the business. Is a qualified medical practitioner directly overseeing your IV Drip administration? It is likely that a registered nurse is administering your IV, but are they making decisions outside their scope of practice or experience?


You have the right to decide to go to anyone to obtain a vitamin, nutrient, or other ingredients, but is the person that recommends your IV drip qualified to do so?

For instance, many IV Drip offices will require a blood laboratory test to administer certain IVs such as NAD+. Who is reading the blood test results? Who is making the decision what is in that IV Drip? Is that person signing their name to an order? Is the IV Drip business getting standing orders from a medical doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, yet never actually seeing or knowing you?


Is there just a Registered Nurse (RN) making critical decisions about what is being put directly in your bloodstream?


RNs in New York State are allowed to administer IV therapy without the need for direct supervision by a physician. However, there are some important considerations:


· Protocols and Standing Orders: RNs are required to follow established protocols and standing orders that have been approved by a licensed physician or other authorized healthcare provider. These protocols guide the administration of IV therapy and ensure patient safety.

· Collaborative Practice: While direct supervision may not be required, there is typically a requirement for collaboration between RNs and other healthcare providers, including physicians. This collaboration ensures that patient care is comprehensive and well-coordinated.

· Scope of Practice: RNs must operate within their defined scope of practice as outlined by the New York State Education Law. This means that they should not perform medical activities that are beyond their training and expertise.

· Specialized Procedures: Some specialized IV procedures or therapies may require specific authorization or protocols that are developed in collaboration with a physician or other appropriate healthcare professional.

· Regulations and Guidelines: RNs and IV therapy offices must adhere to state regulations, licensing requirements, and guidelines set by the New York State Board of Nursing and other relevant authorities.


Here is some specific information about the differences between IV therapy businesses in New York State owned and operated by nurses and those owned and operated by physicians:

· Scope of Practice:

Nurses: In New York State, nurses are regulated by the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions. Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are allowed to administer IV therapy and medications under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Nurse practitioners (NPs) have an expanded scope of practice and can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications, including IV therapies, within their specialty.

Physicians: Physicians in New York State hold medical licenses issued by the New York State Education Department. They have a broader scope of practice that includes diagnosing medical conditions, prescribing treatments, and making medical decisions, which extends to IV therapy.


· Medical Decision-Making:

Nurses: Nurse-owned IV therapy businesses in New York may provide treatments based on established protocols and guidelines. Nurses can make decisions related to the administration of IV therapy within their scope of practice but may not diagnose or prescribe treatments independently.

Physicians: Physician-owned IV therapy businesses can offer a wider range of services, including complex medical evaluations, diagnoses, and treatment plans. Physicians can provide more personalized IV therapy regimens based on their medical expertise.


· Treatment Complexity:

Nurses: Nurse-owned IV therapy businesses in New York are generally better suited for wellness-focused treatments, routine hydration, and basic nutrient infusions. They may collaborate with physicians for more complex cases.

Physicians: Physician-owned IV therapy businesses can handle a broader spectrum of medical conditions that may require advanced diagnostic skills and treatment adjustments.


· Medical Oversight:

Nurses: Nurse-owned businesses typically have medical oversight through collaborations with physicians or other advanced practice providers. This ensures that treatments are appropriate and aligned with patient needs.

Physicians: Physician-owned IV therapy businesses have inherent medical oversight, as physicians are directly responsible for medical decisions, treatment plans, and patient safety.


· Regulatory Compliance:

Nurses: Nurse-owned IV therapy businesses must adhere to regulations set forth by the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions, ensuring that their practices align with nursing regulations and standards.

Physicians: Physician-owned businesses must follow regulations established by the New York State Medical Board, including maintaining proper medical licenses and adhering to medical practice guidelines.


Another safety factor that you should look at as a consumer/patient include medical malpractice insurance. Most physicians maintain medical malpractice insurance, but does the non-physician owned IV Drip business have correct malpractice insurance? Are those RNs that administer the IV Drip have malpractice insurance coverage when performing nursing duties outside their scope of practice (most RN insurance policies cover nursing actions based upon the orders or collaborative diagnosis of a higher-level practitioner.).


I am a believer in the therapeutic advantages of IV Drip therapy. In addition to hydration, we can quickly get vitamins that you may need, boost your immune system by fortifying those elements known to help your immune system, add medication with quicker results for you. I have countless stories and anecdotes of experiences turning around patients lives with IV Drip therapy.




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