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Study finds disagreement on the role of primary care nurse practitioners
Date:5/17/2013

e practices indicated that both professions provide a wide range of services in their practices.

But the survey revealed significant disagreements on specific recommendations:

  • 82 percent of nurse practitioners believed they should be able to lead medical homes practices using a team-based model to deliver coordinated patient care but only 17 percent of physicians agreed;
  • 64 percent of nurse practitioners agreed they should be paid equally for providing the same services, compared with only 4 percent of physicians;
  • 60 percent of nurse practitioners in collaborative practices indicated they provided services to complex patients with multiple conditions, but 23 percent of physician in such practices responded that those services were provided by nurse practitioners,
  • the two groups disagreed significantly regarding whether an increase in the supply of nurse practitioners would improve patient safety, the effectiveness of care and health costs, with one third of physicians responding that such an increase might have a negative effect on safety and effectiveness.

The investigators note the need for more analysis of the economic implications of expanding nurse practitioner roles and responsibilities, as well as the contribution of nurse practitioners to the care of complex patients. Buerhaus stresses, "At this stage, discussion is critical to finding points of agreement. Several states have workforce commissions that might serve as a forum for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, payors and even patients to discuss these issues. Our study did not find major differences by states and did not include physician assistants or other allied health professionals, but including everyone in this dialogue will be important."

Adds Donelan, "Patients need health care teams that work in concert. We need to look at models of successful collaboration and understand how good teams function effectively and effic
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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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