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COVID-19 has amplified the growing importance of advanced practice providers as demands for healthcare increase and a national physician shortage looms.
A new data report by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Optimizing Advanced Practice Providers in Healthcare, shows the increased need for advanced practice providers (APPs) in care delivery and practice performance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With a looming physician shortage and the impacts of expanded telehealth, new technology, value-based care models and the ongoing effects of the pandemic, APPs continue to play an increasingly vital role.
According to a November 3 MGMA Stat poll, more than half (55%) of the 796 respondents plan to add new APPs to their practice in 2021. Among healthcare leaders looking to add APPs next year, more than two-thirds (68%) are considering adding nurse practitioners (NPs), and more than half (58%) say they anticipate adding physician assistants (PAs).
“As medical practices continue to feel the effects and implications of the [COVID-19] pandemic overthe next 18-24 months, a smart solution to help decrease physician burden and burnout is to lean on and elevate the roles of APPs,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, FAAP, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA. “With APPs overseeing patients with lower-acuity issues, physicians are able to spend more time on patients with complex needs. Sharing the responsibilities will allow for better care outcomes. Doing so is also crucial as practices support returning patient volumes while striving to maximize profitability and efficiency.”
Highlights from the report include: