The involvement of physician assistants in inpatient care in hospitals in the Netherlands: a cost-effectiveness analysis.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To investigate the cost-effectiveness of substitution of inpatient care from medical doctors (MDs) to physician assistants (PAs). DESIGN:Cost-effectiveness analysis embedded within a multicentre, matched-controlled study. The traditional model in which only MDs are employed for inpatient care (MD model) was compared with a mixed model in which, besides MDs, PAs are also employed (PA/MD model). SETTING:34 hospital wards across the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS:2292 patients were followed from admission until 1?month after discharge. Patients receiving daycare, terminally ill patients and children were excluded. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:All direct healthcare costs from day of admission until 1?month after discharge. Health outcome concerned quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), which was measured with the EuroQol five dimensions questionnaire (EQ-5D). RESULTS:We found no significant difference for QALY gain (+0.02, 95%?CI -0.01 to 0.05) when comparing the PA/MD model with the MD model. Total costs per patient did not significantly differ between the groups (+€568, 95%?CI -€254 to €1391, p=0.175). Regarding the costs per item, a difference of €309 per patient (95%?CI €29 to €588, p=0.030) was found in favour of the MD model regarding length of stay. Personnel costs per patient for the provider who is primarily responsible for medical care on the ward were lower on the wards in the PA/MD model (-€11, 95%?CI -€16 to -€6, p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests that the cost-effectiveness on wards managed by PAs, in collaboration with MDs, is similar to the care on wards with traditional house staffing. The involvement of PAs may reduce personnel costs, but not overall healthcare costs. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT01835444.
Project description:Medical care for admitted patients in hospitals is increasingly reallocated to physician assistants (PAs). There is limited evidence about the consequences for the quality and safety of care. This study aimed to determine the effects of substitution of inpatient care from medical doctors (MDs) to PAs on patients' length of stay (LOS), quality and safety of care, and patient experiences with the provided care.In a multicenter matched-controlled study, the traditional model in which only MDs are employed for inpatient care (MD model) was compared with a mixed model in which besides MDs also PAs are employed (PA/MD model). Thirty-four wards were recruited across the Netherlands. Patients were followed from admission till one month after discharge. Primary outcome measure was patients' LOS. Secondary outcomes concerned eleven indicators for quality and safety of inpatient care and patients' experiences with the provided care.Data on 2,307 patients from 34 hospital wards was available. The involvement of PAs was not significantly associated with LOS (? 1.20, 95%CI 0.99-1.40, p = .062). None of the indicators for quality and safety of care were different between study arms. However, the involvement of PAs was associated with better experiences of patients (? 0.49, 95% CI 0.22-0.76, p = .001).This study did not find differences regarding LOS and quality of care between wards on which PAs, in collaboration with MDs, provided medical care for the admitted patients, and wards on which only MDs provided medical care. Employing PAs seems to be safe and seems to lead to better patient experiences.ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01835444.
Project description:Because of an expected shrinking supply of medical doctors for hospitalist posts, an increased emphasis on efficiency and continuity of care, and the standardization of many medical procedures, the role of hospitalist is increasingly allocated to physician assistants (PAs). PAs are nonphysician clinicians with medical tasks. This study aims to evaluate the effects of substitution of hospital ward care to PAs.In a multicenter matched controlled study, the traditional model in which the role of hospitalist is taken solely by medical doctors (MD model) is compared with a mixed model in which a PA functions as a hospitalist, contingent with MDs (PA/MD model). Twenty intervention and twenty control wards are included across The Netherlands, from a range of medical specialisms. Primary outcome measure is patients' length of hospital stay. Secondary outcomes include indicators for quality of hospital ward care, patients experiences with medical ward care, patients health-related quality of life, and healthcare providers' experiences. An economic evaluation is conducted to assess the cost implications and potential efficiency of the PA/MD model. For most measures, data is collected from medical records or questionnaires in samples of 115 patients per hospital ward. Semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals are conducted to identify determinants of efficiency, quality and continuity of care and barriers and facilitators for the implementation of PAs in the role of hospitalist.Findings from this study will help to further define the role of nonphysician clinicians and provides possible key components for the implementation of PAs in hospital ward care. Like in many studies of organizational change, random allocation to study arms is not feasible, which implies an increased risk for confounding. A major challenge is to deal with the heterogeneity of patients and hospital departments.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to gain insight into how substitution of elderly care physicians (ECPs) by nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs) or registered nurses (RNs) in nursing homes is modelled in different contexts and what model in what context contributes to perceived quality of healthcare. Second, this study aimed to provide insight into elements that contribute to an optimal model of substitution of ECPs by NPs, PAs or RNs. DESIGN:A multiple-case study was conducted that draws on realist evaluation principles. SETTING:Seven nursing homes in the Netherlands PARTICIPANTS: The primary participants were NPs (n=3), PAs (n=2) and RNs (n=2), working in seven different nursing homes and secondary participants were included; ECPs (n=15), medical doctors (MDs) (n=2), managing directors/managers/supervisors (n=11), nursing team members (n=33) and residents/relatives (n=78). DATA COLLECTION:Data collection consisted of: (1) observations of the NP/PA/RN and an ECP/MD, (2) interviews with all participants, (3) questionnaires filled out by the NP/PA/RN, ECPs/MDs and managing directors/managers and (4) collecting internal policy documents. RESULTS:An optimal model of substitution of ECPs seems to be one in which the professional substitutes for the ECP largely autonomously, well-balanced collaboration occurs between the ECP and the substitute, and quality of healthcare is maintained. This model was seen in two NP cases and one PA case. Elements that enabled NPs and PAs to work according to this optimal model were among others: collaborating with the ECP based on trust; being proactive, decisive and communicative and being empowered by organisational leaders to work as an independent professional. CONCLUSIONS:Collaboration based on trust between the ECP and the NP or PA is a key element of successful substitution of ECPs. NPs, PAs and RNs in nursing homes may all be valuable in their own unique way, matching their profession, education and competences.
Project description:Primary care improvement is the cornerstone of current reforms. Mental disorders (MDs) are a leading cause of morbidity worldwide and widespread in industrialised countries. MDs are treated mainly in primary care by general practitioners (GPs), even though the latter ability to detect, diagnose, and treat patients with MDs is often considered unsatisfactory. This article examines GPs' management of MDs in an effort to acquire more information regarding means by which GPs deal with MD cases, impact of such cases on their practices, factors that enable or hinder MD management, and patient-management strategies.This study employs a mixed-method approach with emphasis on qualitative investigation. Based on a previous survey of 398 GPs in Quebec, Canada, 60 GPs representing a variety of practice settings were selected for further study. A 10-minute-long questionnaire comprising 27 items was administered, and 70-minute-long interviews were conducted. Quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative (NVivo) analyses were performed.At least 20% of GP visits were MD-related. GPs were comfortable managing common MDs, but not serious MDs. GPs' based their treatment of MDs on pharmacotherapy, support therapy, and psycho-education. They used clinical intuition with few clinical tools, and closely followed their patients with MDs. Practice features (salary or hourly fees payment; psycho-social teams on-site; strong informal networks), and GPs' individual characteristics (continuing medical education; exposure and interest in MDs; traits like empathy) favoured MD management. Collaboration with psychologists and psychiatrists was considered key to good MD management. Limited access to specialists, system fragmentation, and underdeveloped group practice and shared-care models were impediments. MD management was seen as burdensome because it required more time, flexibility, and emotional investment. Strategies exist to reduce the burden (one-problem-per-visit rule; longer time slots). GPs found MD practice rewarding as patients were seen as grateful and more complying with medical recommendations compared to other patients, generally leading to positive outcomes.To improve MD management, this study highlights the importance of extending multidisciplinary GP practice settings with salary or hourly fee payment; access to psychotherapeutic and psychiatric expertise; and case-discussion training involving local networks of GPs and MD specialists that encourage both knowledge transfer and shared care.
Project description:Following emergency department (ED) assessment, patients with infection may be directly admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) or alternatively admitted to hospital wards or sent home. Those admitted to the hospital wards or sent home may experience future deterioration necessitating ICU admission.We used a prospectively collected registry from two hospitals within a single tertiary care hospital network between 2011 and 2014. Patient information, outcomes, and costs were stored in the hospital data warehouse. Patients were categorized into three groups: (1) admitted directly from the ED to the ICU; (2) initially admitted to the hospital wards, with ICU admission within 72 hours of initial presentation; or (3) sent home from the ED, with ICU admission within 72 hours of initial presentation. Using multivariable logistic regression, we sought to compare outcomes and total costs between groups. Total costs were evaluated using a generalized linear model.A total of 657 patients were included; of these, 338 (51.4%) were admitted directly from the ED to the ICU, 246 (37.4%) were initially admitted to the wards and then to the ICU, and 73 (11.1%) were initially sent home and then admitted to the ICU. In-hospital mortality was lowest among patients admitted directly to the ICU (29.5%), as compared with patients admitted to the ICU from wards (42.7%) or home (61.6%) (P?<?0.001). As compared with direct ICU admission, disposition to the ward was associated with an adjusted OR of 1.75 (95% CI, 1.22-2.50; P?<?0.01) for mortality, and disposition home was associated with an adjusted OR of 4.02 (95% CI, 2.32-6.98). Mean total costs were lowest among patients directly admitted to the ICU ($26,748), as compared with those admitted from the wards ($107,315) and those initially sent home ($71,492) (P?<?0.001). Cost per survivor was lower among patients directly admitted to the ICU ($37,986) than either those initially admitted to the wards ($187,230) or those sent home ($186,390) (P?<?0.001).In comparison with direct admission to the ICU, patients with suspected infection admitted to the ICU who have previously been discharged home or admitted to the ward are associated with higher in-hospital mortality and costs.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Team care improves processes and outcomes of care, especially for patients with complex medical conditions that require coordination of care. This study aimed to compare the processes and outcomes of care provided to older patients with diabetes by primary care teams comprised of only primary care physicians (PCPs) versus team care that included nurse practitioners (NPs) or physician assistants (PAs).<br><br><b>Methods: </b>We studied 3,524 primary care practices identified via social network analysis and 306,741 patients ?66 years old diagnosed with diabetes in or before 2015 in Medicare data. Guideline-recommended diabetes care included eye examination, hemoglobin A1c test, and nephropathy monitoring. High-risk medications were based on recommendations from the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. Preventable hospitalizations were defined as hospitalizations for a potentially preventable condition.<br><br><b>Results: </b>Compared with patients in the PCP only teams, patients in the team care practices with NPs or PAs received more guideline-recommended diabetes care (annual eye exam: adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.04 (95% CI: 1.00-1.08), 1.08 (95% CI: 1.03-1.13), and 1.10 (95% CI: 1.05-1.15), and HbA1C test: aOR: 1.11 (95% CI: 1.04-1.18), 1.11 (95% CI: 1.02-1.20), and 1.15 (95% CI: 1.06-1.25) for PCP/NP, PCP/NP/PA, and PCP/PA teams). Patients in the PCP/NP and the PCP/PA teams had a slightly higher likelihood of being prescribed high-risk medications (aOR: 1.03 (95% CI: 1.00-1.07), and 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02-1.11), respectively). The likelihood of preventable hospitalizations was similar among patients cared for by various types of practices.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>The team care practices with NPs or PAs were associated with better adherence to clinical practice guideline recommendations for diabetes compared to PCP only practices. Both practices had similar outcomes. Further efforts are needed to explore new and cost-effective team-based care delivery models that improve process, outcomes, and continuity of care, as well as patient care experiences.
Project description:Expanded use of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) is a potential solution to workforce issues, but little is known about how NPs and PAs can best be used. Our study examines whether medical and social complexity of patients is associated with whether their primary care provider (PCP) type is a physician, NP, or PA. In this national retrospective cohort study, we use 2012-2013 national Veterans Administration (VA) electronic health record data from 374?223 veterans to examine whether PCP type is associated with patient, clinic, and state-level factors representing medical and social complexity, adjusting for all variables simultaneously using a generalized logit model. Results indicate that patients with physician PCPs are modestly more medically complex than those with NP or PA PCPs. For the group having a Diagnostic Cost Group (DCG) score >2.0 compared with the group having DCG <0.5, odds of having an NP or a PA were lower than for having a physician PCP (NP odds ratio [OR] = 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.88; PA OR = 0.85, CI: 0.80-0.89). Social complexity is not consistently associated with PCP type. Overall, we found minor differences in provider type assignment. This study improves on previous work by using a large national dataset that accurately ascribes the work of NPs and PAs, analyzing at the patient level, analyzing NPs and PAs separately, and addressing social as well as medical complexity. This is a requisite step toward studies that compare patient outcomes by provider type.
Project description:Protected areas (PAs) play an important role in conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services, yet their effectiveness is undermined by funding shortfalls. Using lions (Panthera leo) as a proxy for PA health, we assessed available funding relative to budget requirements for PAs in Africa's savannahs. We compiled a dataset of 2015 funding for 282 state-owned PAs with lions. We applied three methods to estimate the minimum funding required for effective conservation of lions, and calculated deficits. We estimated minimum required funding as $978/km2 per year based on the cost of effectively managing lions in nine reserves by the African Parks Network; $1,271/km2 based on modeled costs of managing lions at ≥50% carrying capacity across diverse conditions in 115 PAs; and $2,030/km2 based on Packer et al.'s [Packer et al. (2013) Ecol Lett 16:635-641] cost of managing lions in 22 unfenced PAs. PAs with lions require a total of $1.2 to $2.4 billion annually, or ∼$1,000 to 2,000/km2, yet received only $381 million annually, or a median of $200/km2 Ninety-six percent of range countries had funding deficits in at least one PA, with 88 to 94% of PAs with lions funded insufficiently. In funding-deficit PAs, available funding satisfied just 10 to 20% of PA requirements on average, and deficits total $0.9 to $2.1 billion. African governments and the international community need to increase the funding available for management by three to six times if PAs are to effectively conserve lions and other species and provide vital ecological and economic benefits to neighboring communities.
Project description:Importance:Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability among women. Achievement of recommended physical activity (PA) levels is an essential component of CVD management. Objective:To describe trends, sociodemographic factors, and health care expenditures associated with suboptimal PA among a nationally representative sample of US women with CVD. Design, Setting, and Participants:This cross-sectional study used serial data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2006 through 2015. The analyses were conducted in August 2018. Women who had self-reported and/or International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, diagnosis of CVD were included. Main Outcomes and Measures:Recommended PA was defined as 30 minutes or more of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise, 5 or more days per week. Weighted logistic regression was used to examine the associations of various sociodemographic factors with suboptimal PA, adjusted for comorbidities. A 2-part econometric model was used to assess health care expenditures. Results:A total of 18 027 women were included in this study. The results were weighted to provide estimates for approximately 19.5 million adult women in the United States with CVD (mean [SD] age, 60.4 [16.9] years). More than half of the women with CVD reported suboptimal PA, a trend that increased during the 10-year period, with 58.2% (95% CI, 55.9%-60.5%) of participants reporting suboptimal PA in 2006-2007 vs 61.9% (95% CI, 59.7%-64.2%) in 2014-2015 (P = .004). The proportion of women with suboptimal PA differed by sociodemographic factors. In adjusted models, compared with non-Hispanic white women, African American women (odds ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.08-1.38) and Hispanic women (odds ratio, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.13-1.58) were more likely to have suboptimal PA. Women from low- or very low-income strata (compared with high-income strata), enrolled in public insurance (compared with private insurance), and with less than high school education (compared with at least some college education) were more likely to have suboptimal PA. Health care costs among women with CVD with suboptimal PA were higher compared with those among women who met the recommended PA, and this increased through time, from a mean total health care expenditure of $12 724 (95% CI, $11 627-$13 821) in 2006-2007 to $14 820 (95% CI, $13 521-$16 119) in 2014-2015. Conclusions and Relevance:The proportion of women with CVD not meeting recommended PA is high and increasing, particularly among certain racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups, and is associated with significant health care costs. More must be done to improve PA for secondary prevention and reduction of expenditures among women with CVD.
Project description:We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of posaconazole compared with standard azole therapy (SAT; fluconazole or itraconazole) for the prevention of invasive fungal infections (IFI) and the reduction of overall mortality in high-risk neutropenic patients with acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The perspective was that of the Spanish National Health Service (NHS).A decision-analytic model, based on a randomised phase III trial, was used to predict IFI avoided, life-years saved (LYS), total costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER; incremental cost per LYS) over patients' lifetime horizon. Data for the analyses included life expectancy, procedures, and costs associated with IFI and the drugs (in euros at November 2009 values) which were obtained from the published literature and opinions of an expert committee. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PAS) was performed.Posaconazole was associated with fewer IFI (0.05 versus 0.11), increased LYS (2.52 versus 2.43), and significantly lower costs excluding costs of the underlying condition (€6,121 versus €7,928) per patient relative to SAT. There is an 85% probability that posaconazole is a cost-saving strategy compared to SAT and a 97% probability that the ICER for posaconazole relative to SAT is below the cost per LYS threshold of €30,000 currently accepted in Spain.Posaconazole is a cost-saving prophylactic strategy (lower costs and greater efficacy) compared with fluconazole or itraconazole in high-risk neutropenic patients.