The physician shortage is real, and based on trends, it won’t be getting better any time soon. How will this impact your facility or practice?
According to the 2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Survey, aging baby boomers and increased access to healthcare are driving the demand for more healthcare services. At the same time, the number of care providers is decreasing.1 More and more healthcare organizations are growing their ranks of physician extenders (PEs) to make up for the gap in physicians.
Extended Rights from States
Twenty-nine states now allow a physician assistant (PA) to issue medical orders without having them counter-signed by a physician. And, according to Jeffrey Katz, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, 49 states and the District of Columbia have recently changed or passed regulations making it easier for PAs to take care of their patients.2
Extended Responsibilities from VA
Perhaps the biggest new development is the proposal by Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand nurses’ responsibilities in VA hospitals. By allowing nurses to order and interpret diagnostic tests, administer anesthesia, write prescriptions, and more without a doctor’s oversight, the VA hopes to be able to shorten wait times for veterans who need medical care.3
The states’ decisions and the VA’s proposal show a national understanding of the shortage and the need to make changes in order to meet it. The same is true for your facility. Are you prepared to recruit and retain physician extenders? In addition to filling employment gaps, physician extenders can increase your profits. According to The American Osteopathic Association, PEs can “handle 80% of primary care at 50% of cost.”4
However, one word of caution, to reduce liability your PEs need to be fully compliant with verified credentials and a criminal background check. By joining the IntelliCentrics community, you gain the highest compliance at the lowest possible cost and make it possible for all of your patients to experience healthcare.