Cost Effectiveness of Mid-level Providers

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The purpose of this study is to examine the cost effectiveness of mid level providers, such as physician assistants, compared to physicians. In order to thoroughly evaluate the difference in cost one must look at more than one aspect of the physician assistant versus the classic physician. From a purely economic standpoint one needs to address the cost of education, differences in the way patients are treated based on the kind of medicine practiced and the cost of employment between physician assistants and traditional physicians. For example, some schools of thought suggest that a physician assistant may order more unnecessary tests than a physician because they are not trained well enough to know what is and is not important (Hooker, 2002). However, because many physician assistants already have training in one of the allied health fields, such as nursing, the argument can be made that the lack of additional schooling is cancelled out by the prior work experience. In addition to the large salary differences between physician assistants and physicians the cost effectiveness, when including healthcare reform, could be astronomical due to the influx of new patients covered by health insurance. By examining the cost effectiveness of physician assistants compared to Physicians potential healthcare employers may be able to make better economic decisions by the staffing of mid level providers versus traditional physicians. Because four physician assistants can be staffed per physician one can see the potential savings from an employer’s perspective, taking into consideration the growing workload and demand for mid level providers (Halter, 2013). Review of Literature The yearly cost of physician assistant school is comparable ... ... middle of paper ... ... E. (2007). Academic medicine. Physician assistant education in the United States. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from Assistant Education in the United States.14.aspx McKibbin, R. C. (1997). Cost-effectiveness of physician assistants: a review of recent evidence. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health , 8(2), 110-5. doi:10314426 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Roblin, D., Howard, D., Becker, E., Adams, E., & Roberts, M. (2004). Use of midlevel practitioners to achieve labor cost savings in the primary care practice of an MCO. Health Services Research, 39(3), 607-625. Travis, S. (2010, December 15). FAU sets $27,000 tuition, fees for new medical program. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from

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