Dispelling a commonly held belief among some physicians that NPs and PAs provide inferior patient care, a new study published this month in the, Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that care provided by advanced practice clinicians was not inferior to physician care. The study, which evaluated treatment of patients with upper respiratory infections, back pain, and headaches across thousands of patient encounters, showed the advanced practice clinicians were not any more likely than their physician colleagues to order expensive and inappropriate tests or medications. This study adds to the volume of data showing that advanced practice clinicians are capable of providing high quality, evidence based healthcare to patients across the lifespan while controlling healthcare costs. NPs and PAs have the education and training to provide safe, competent, and compassionate care to patients with a variety of health concerns. With primary care physician shortages predicted to continue and more patients accessing primary care services, expanding the scope of care of advanced practice clinicians is one important piece of solving the healthcare puzzle.
You can find the full text of the study here: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2529481
Further commentary from Forbes here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2016/06/20/nurse-practitioners-pas-no-more-wasteful-than-physicians/#4b010677a3e1