The Health Professions Act and the Nurses (Registered) and Nurse Practitioners Regulation permit nurse practitioners to refer their patients to medical practitioners for consultation and to request certain laboratory, diagnostic and imaging services (include MSP practitioner number on the lab requisition). Visit the nurse practitioner MSP site for information other than referring patients for laboratory services.
For the purposes of the Laboratory Services Regulation, a nurse practitioner is a referring practitioner if they are enrolled as a practitioner under section 13 of the Medicare Protection Act and they are a registrant of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) who is authorized to use the title:
- “nurse practitioner”, or
- “registered nurse practitioner”.
While nurse practitioners (NPs) are defined as referring health care practitioners under the Laboratory Services Act and Regulation, NPs may refer a beneficiary to an approved laboratory facility for any fee-for-service outpatient laboratory service listed in the Laboratory Services Payment Schedule, the same as medical practitioners, provided the outpatient service falls within the NPs' scope of practice and subject to the following conditions:
- a referring NP must specifically consider the Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee’s (GPAC) clinical practice guidelines approved by the minister, in determining whether provision of outpatient laboratory services is medically required for beneficiaries; and
- NPs are expected to comply with all guidelines and billing rules established by the minister, as well as the patterns of practice that apply to family practice physicians as outlined in the Laboratory Services Schedule of Fees.
Referring NPs should refer to the full Laboratory Services Outpatient Payment Schedule - Schedule of Fees for a comprehensive list of outpatient laboratory tests and for additional fee item detail, including limits and conditions as well as notations where add-on tests may be conducted by the laboratory facility.
NPs may consult or refer to physicians in accordance with the CRNBC Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners: Standards, Limits and Conditions (PDF, 703KB) Diagnosing and Health Care Management section and must consider best practice guidelines regarding consultation and referral. NPs may also refer for other non-fee-for-service laboratory services within their scope of practice.