Impact of Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants on Utilization and Costs for Complex Patients

Paper
Key Questions Answered
  • What effects do nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) have on the utilization and costs of health services for individuals with complex needs?
  • What explains these effects?
Key Themes and Takeaways

This study compared health services use and costs depending on whether the primary care provider was a physician, NP, or PA.

  • NPs and PAs are taking a larger role in the primary care of medically complex patients with chronic conditions, but there concerns about the effects on costs.
  • This study used Veterans Affairs data on medically complex patients with diabetes to compare health services use and costs depending on whether the primary care provider was a physician, NP, or PA.
  • Use of NPs and PAs as primary care providers for complex patients with diabetes was associated with less use of acute care services and lower total costs.
Authors
Perri A. Morgan
Valerie A. Smith
Theodore S. Z. Berkowitz
David Edelman
Courtney H. Van Houtyen
Sandra L. Woolson
Cristina C. Hendrix
Christine M. Everett
Brandolyn S. White
George L. Jackson
Population Addressed
People with Multiple Chronic Conditions
Level of Evidence
Moderate
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