Which family physicians work routinely with nurse practitioners, physician assistants or certified nurse midwives.

Abstract

PURPOSE Facing rising numbers of insured with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, policy makers are interested in building teams of providers that can accommodate a growing demand for primary care services. Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) already augment the physician workforce, particularly in rural areas. Our objective was to determine what physician and areal-level characteristics were associated with working with NPs, PAs or CNMs. METHODS The sample consisted of a convenience sample of physicians through the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) website in the fall of 2011. We linked these data to demographic and practice information collected by the ABFM and with provider information supplied from the National Provider Identifier file aggregated at the Primary Care Service Area level. Hierarchical logistic regression models were used to determine variables associated with working with NPs, PAs, or CNMs. FINDINGS Of the 3,855 family physicians in our sample, 60% reported routinely working with NPs, PAs, or CNMs. In regression analysis, characteristics positively associated with working with NPs, PAs, or CNMs were providing gynecological care (Odds Ratio = 1.23 [95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.42]), multispecialty group practice (OR = 1.72 [1.36-2.18]), any rural setting, and higher availability of PAs (OR = 1.40 [1.10-1.79]). Restrictive NP scope of practice laws failed to reach significance (OR = 0.86 [0.71-1.05]). CONCLUSIONS This study suggests that the number of family physicians routinely working with NPs, PAs, and CNMs continues to increase, which may allow for improved access to health care, particularly in rural areas.

DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12053

Cite this paper

@article{Peterson2014WhichFP, title={Which family physicians work routinely with nurse practitioners, physician assistants or certified nurse midwives.}, author={Lars E Peterson and Brenna E Blackburn and Stephen Petterson and James C. Puffer and Andrew W. Bazemore and Robert L. Phillips}, journal={The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association}, year={2014}, volume={30 3}, pages={227-34} }