In the primary care of medically complex patients with chronic diseases, non-physician professionals including nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician
assistants (PAs) are playing a bigger role. A primary care system that is already under pressure from an aging population and an increase in the frequency of
chronic diseases is made even more taxing by the responsibility of managing complex patients with chronic conditions in community settings. Due to a lack
of primary care physicians and the quick growth in the supply of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), NPs and PAs are playing a bigger
part in the treatment of these patients.
According to Morgan et al. (2019), in terms of health care costs, patients of NPs specifically incurred 9% less inpatient expenses than patients of doctors.
Compared to physician patients, PA patients’ inpatient expenses were non-significantly reduced 6% higher (Morgan et al., 2019). Hence, there is less expense
health care cost for NPs and PAs compared to physicians. Moreover, studies have shown that using NPs and PAs helps to maintain the quality of care. One
study was about chronic illnesses wherein for chronic illnesses, NPs offer care of an equivalent standard to that given by doctors. According to California
Health Care Foundation (2019), a study of Medicare patients with diabetes indicated that the rates of avoidable hospitalizations were lower or equal to those
of physicians for all outcomes examined for individuals treated by nurse practitioners (NPs). In terms of patient satisfaction with care, health status,
functional status, number of ER visits and hospitalizations, blood sugar, blood pressure, and mortality, NPs and doctors had equivalent outcomes (California
Health Care Foundation,2019).
Expanding Roles of Advanced Practice RNs
The largest group of healthcare professionals are nurses. They work in a wide range of environments and treat a variety of populations. The nursing
profession plays a crucial role in providing high-quality, patient-centered, easily accessible, and reasonably priced care as the healthcare system changes as
a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Ortiz et al., 2018). In-Depth Practice The ability of registered nurses (including nurse practitioners) to practice to
the fullest extent of their education and training may help to develop the workforce required to meet the growing population’s health care needs.
Less restricted ARNP scope of practice laws may improve access to and use of primary care, according to research studies. In one study, those living in fullpractice states were more geographically accessible to primary care physicians (including ARNPs) than those living in restricted practice states, where the
percentage was just 35% (Ortiz et al., 2018). Physician referral, health education, counseling services, and patient medication use were all positively
impacted by the work of ARNPs and their independence from prescriiption restrictions. Recent research supports earlier findings that ARNPs were superior
to “novice” physicians at reading medical history data and formulating patient follow-up care plans, in addition to providing minor injuries with the appropriate
care (Ortiz et al., 2018).
Importance of Primary Care
Primary care providers provide routine care, early disease identification and treatment, management of chronic diseases, and preventative care. Patients who
have a regular source of care are more likely to receive advised preventative services, such as cancer screenings, flu vaccines, and blood pressure checks.
According to a recent study, people in the United States who regularly see a primary care provider have better access to medical care overall. They had higher
rates of filling prescriiptions, routine preventive care visits within the previous year, and valuable cancer screenings (American Academy of Family Physicians,
2019). The reduction of health inequities and enhancement of population health depends heavily on primary care.