17,000 New NPs/PAs Enter Healthcare System
Are NP/PA Professions Growing as Fast as MDs?
Nearly 17,000 new NPs and PAs enter the healthcare system each year. Both the NP/PA professions are growing at twice the rate of MDs. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicians will grow 14% over the next ten years while PAs and NPs will grow at 30% and 31% respectively.
Expanded Prescribing Authority for NPs/PAs
A long overdue change will take place in January when Florida will allow both Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to prescribe controlled substances. This means NPs will prescribe controlled substances in all states starting in 2017 and PAs will prescribe them in all states except Kentucky. Patients will benefit with better access to quality medical care; for example, those in Florida who require certain pain and ADHD medications can now see an NP or PA which often means shorter wait times for appointments.
Are NPs/PAs More Like MDs or RNs?
NPs and PAs are a distinct group who prescribe and are authorized and educated to do much more than an RN or LPN. Don’t just provide NPs/PAs the exact materials provided to MDs. Tailoring the material to NPs and PAs will go a long way with this provider segment who are more receptive to materials addressed specifically to them.
MDs and NPs Prescribing Habits
The stats indicate these providers are basically on par with physicians. Numerous studies show NPs/PAs prescribe as often as MDs and are not simply relegated to paperwork and taking vitals nor are they handing out scripts when they shouldn’t. In a National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, there were no differences among MDs, NPs, and PAs in the percentages of visits in which drugs or immunizations were prescribed and labs or other tests were ordered. At least two other studies had similar results with the exception of one finding that NPs wrote significantly more prescriptions in rural areas.
Pharma Insults NPs/PAs
You don’t have to search far on Facebook groups, blogs, and other outlets to find the frustration NPs and PAs express about being referred to with words that seem to indicate their care is less important or below that of MDs. NPs and PAs pride themselves on the level of education, care and outcomes they provide patients. For pharma marketing and sales, it’s so important to address NPs/PAs correctly.