JAMA: More practices rely on NPs, PAs

The number of physician specialty practices employing nurse practitioners and physician assistants rose 22 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to a study published April 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers examined SK&A outpatient provider files to assess the employment trends of NPs and PAs in physician specialty practices.

The study found approximately 28 percent of physician specialty practices employed NPs and PAs in 2016, compared to 23 percent in 2008. Nearly half of multispecialty practices (49 percent) employed such workers in 2016, while 21 percent of surgical specialties did the same. Among specialty practices, dermatology, cardiology and obstetrics/gynecology employed the most number of NPs and PAs.

From 2008 to 2016, the number of physician specialty practices employing NPs and PAs increased 22 percent. Additionally, primary care physician practices employing NPs and PA rose 24 percent over the same time period.

"Because the NP role was historically developed to focus on primary care and most advanced practice clinicians are NPs, one would expect that advanced practice clinicians would have a greater presence in primary care practices," the study's authors note, according to the American Hospital Association.

Read more about the study here.


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