NPP Demand Rising Under Value-Based Care Models

John Commins, April 16, 2014

Multispecialty medical practices with non-physician providers typically perform better financially than those without physician assistants and nurse practitioners, an MGMA report finds.


Susan Turney, MD

Susan L. Turney, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, MGMA-ACMPE

The use of physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other "non-physician providers" continues to accelerate with the advent of value-based, coordinated care delivery, a Medical Group Management Association analysis shows.

The report examined growth in the use of non-physician providers at multispecialty practices and found that the number of full-time-equivalent NPPs per FTE physician has increased by 11% since 2008. Correspondingly, the analysis determined that medical practices with NPPs typically perform better financially, perhaps because the NPPs boost patient capacity and improve access to providers.

"While it's encouraging to see that practices who invest in employing non-physician providers benefit financially from such arrangements, medical groups are driven by the desire to serve patients and improve their satisfaction with their experience," MGMA President/CEO Susan L. Turney, MD, said in remarks accompanying the report.

"Being successful in a value-based environment will require practices to innovate and staff their organizations thoughtfully to ensure patients have access to their providers and are satisfied with their experience," she continued.

Nurse Practitioners Love Their Jobs, For Now

The MGMA analysis is consistent with the rise in demand for NPs and PAs seen at healthcare recruiters Merritt Hawkins & Associates. Travis Singleton, senior vice president at the Irving, TX-based firm, says search requests for these non-physician providers "grew by 300% year-over-year from 2012 to 2013, which is insane."

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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