Nurse practitioners are assuming a more prominent role in primary care. Maryland is the latest state to allow this group to practice independently, and the Veterans Health Administration may soon follow suit.
The drivers for this trend are clear: the expansion of health insurance in the U.S. and our aging population, both producing heavy demand for primary-care services; shortages of primary-care physicians in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas; an urgency to lower care costs in the system; and pharmacy chains and big-box retail stores looking to use primary-care medicine (staffed primarily by nurse practitioners) as a “loss leader,” in part to build brand loyalty for their health-related products and services.
We could benefit from knowing more about nurse practitioners. Scattered studies in the primary-care sphere show that, in some cases, nurse practitioners perform on a par with their physician counterparts. These findings tend to focus on lower-level acute and chronic-disease care, which is traditionally the primary-care work to which NPs have been consigned. We also have sporadic studies that show patient satisfaction and care utilization among NPs comparing favorably with primary-care physicians. But at present the overall body of research lacks integration and examines a limited scope of primary-care medicine.
Read the full post at Modern Healthcare
Professor Hoff explains the numerous advantages of the D’Amore-McKim Full-Time MBA Healthcare Management Track in the video below:
For more information, click here.