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Additional Treatment Options Granted to Healthcare Providers by Maryland Legislature

July 26, 2023 By Lauren N. Rutkowski

Maryland’s General Assembly recently enacted a number of changes to the state’s healthcare laws. One of the changes includes an expansion of treatment options that various licensed healthcare professionals may use and thereby broadening the services these professionals can offer to their patients. Below is a brief summary of the recently expanded services Maryland’s legislature has afforded to some healthcare occupations:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are now permitted to prescribe certain medications and medical equipment;
  • Registered Nurses certified as Nurse-Midwives and Licensed Certified Midwives have been granted new prescription authority to prepare, dispense, and start doses of certain drugs in specific circumstances related to midwifery;
  • Licensed Athletic Trainers may be authorized by the State Board of Physicians to perform dry needling after receiving the required additional education mandated by the State Board;

The expansion of services these professionals may provide are likely to impact civil litigation in a number of ways. First, the change in permissible treatment options for these licensed healthcare providers is likely to generate new and different medical malpractice claims against these specific occupations. This in turn will create the need for new experts who can testify to the standards of care for these various specialties and may even require current experts to revisit their prior opinions or amend those opinions to reflect this change in Maryland law. Further, it is also possible that new medical treatment trends will emerge in personal injury matters now that additional treatment options are being granted to these healthcare providers. Some of these newly permitted treatments may become more prevalent in all forms of personal injury cases. Insurers should be prepared to evaluate the use of these new treatment options by these various healthcare professionals.