MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristin Ray, MD, MS
Health Policy Institute
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: We were interested in understanding how nurse practitioners and physician assistants are working with specialist physicians to provide specialty care. Much has been described and studied about nurse practitioners and physician assistants providing primary care, but the literature about their role in specialty care is more sparse. There have been many concerns over time about the supply of specialist physicians, heightening our interest in the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in working with specialist physicians.
We focused on examining whether care to physician specialist’s patients by nurse practitioners and physician assistants has increased over time as well as examining characteristics of patients seen by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
We found that visits with NPs and PAs for specialty care have increased over time, but remains a small fraction of specialty care overall.