Physicians, NPs provide equivalent diabetes care, study finds 

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants offer the same level of diabetes care as physicians at Veterans Affairs facilities, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

For the study, researchers analyzed EHR data for more than 600,000 VA patients with diabetes. Patients were either admitted to a VA hospital or attended two outpatient visits for diabetes care between Oct. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2012.

Researchers found no statistically significant difference in care quality based on whether patients sought care from a physician, NP or PA. Patients with a physician as their primary care provider demonstrated similar health outcomes to individuals treated by a PA or NP.

The study's findings offer "additional evidence for the role of NPs and PAs as primary care providers," George Jackson, PhD, senior author of the study and healthcare epidemiologist at the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina, said in a news release.

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