At Marathon Health, we believe we have some of the best clinicians in the business. They are absolutely the linchpin in our mission to inspire people to lead healthier lives. Many of our clinicians are nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) who can perform approximately 90% of the primary/acute care services provided by a primary care physician. In our experience, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have the necessary training, skills, and leadership abilities to provide our specialized services – primary care, health coaching, and disease management – in the most efficient and optimal manner possible.

We bring this up because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with a recent study showing hospital outpatient visits handled by only NPs or PAs jumped 50 percent from 2000-2001 to 2008-2009. We’re not the only ones who recognize the value of NPs and PAs.

According to the study:

“Hospital outpatient visits handled by only NPs or PAs jumped 50 percent from 2000-2001 (10 percent) to 2008-2009 (15 percent), according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Part of the shift toward NPs and PAs is the shortage of primary care physicians. The national physician shortage increases 7 to 8 percent annually, according to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of American College of Surgeons.

But patients have generally been happy with their experiences with NPs and PAs, and reports indicate advanced practice nurses deliver care that is just as safe and effective as that provided by physicians.

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Associate Professors Julie Stanik-Hutt, Kathleen M. White, and colleagues analyzed 18 years’ worth of U.S. studies and found that:

“In particular, nurse practitioners received similar grades to physicians on patient satisfaction scores, patients’ self-reported perceived health, as well as cholesterol, blood pressure, and mortality outcomes. According to the study, NPs scored better than physicians when it came to glucose control and lipid control.”

We just wanted to highlight the great work being done by NPs and PAs, especially our own here at Marathon Health. Thanks for everything that you do.

For more information about the studies, click here.


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