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New Study Shows Low-value Care Rates Similar for Advance Practice Clinicians (APCs) and Physicians

Friday, August 5, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cristi Roberts
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According to a new study, APCs (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) provide equivalent amounts of low-value health services in primary care in both hospital and office-based settings. The authors explain that this finding is important because, “according to a recent national survey, most physicians believe that APCs provide lower-quality care than they do, and nearly one quarter think that expanding their roles in U.S. practice would decrease the efficiency and value of health care.”

Using national data on ambulatory visits, researchers compared the use of potentially low-value health services, including use of antibiotics, plain radiography, advanced imaging and referrals to other physicians, between APCs and physicians in how they managed upper respiratory infections, back pain and headache. Researchers examined 12,170 physician and 473 APC office-based visits and 13,359 physician and 2,947 APC hospital-based visits.

According to researchers, the finding that “APCs order antibiotics, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, radiography and referrals as frequently as physicians is reassuring given recent efforts to expand the number of APCs, as well as their role, to meet the increasing demand for primary care.”

Click here to read the full article from the Annals of Internal Medicine "Comparing Use of Low-Value Health Care Services Among U.S. Advanced Practice Clinicians and Physicians”. 

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