A recently published study in the journal Medical Care, researching patient care outcomes in community health centers, has found that physician assistants and nurse practitioners deliver comparable care, services, and referrals to those of primary care physicians.
Using data collected between 2006 and 2010, including the analysis of 23,704 patient visits to 1139 practitioners, researchers at The George Washington University School of Nursing found seven of the nine outcomes studied showed there was no statistically significant difference between PA/NP and PCP provided care. The two remaining outcomes studied showed that visits to PAs and NPs provided patients with more health education/counseling services than visits to physicians.
These findings should serve to reassure patients who see PAs and NPs in community health centers, the numbers of which have grown significantly due to the Affordable Care Act.
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