Dis Mon. 2021 Jan;67(1):101013. doi: 10.1016/j.disamonth.2020.101013. Epub 2020 Jul 11.
Advanced practice providers (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) are part of the interdisciplinary teams integral to successful care and improved outcomes for acutely ill patients in intensive care units and emergency departments. Between physician shortage and increased complexity of patients with often rapidly deteriorating conditions, the addition of advanced practice providers and expansion of acute care provider roles result in positive outcomes including decreased hospital length of stay, improved continuity of care, decreased hospital costs and increase inpatient, physician and staff nurses job satisfaction. This article attempts to examine the role that advanced practice providers (APPs) play in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in acute care settings, education provided in physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner (NP) programs, and post-graduate training required to achieve competency and comfort in performing procedures. PA and NP training and credentialing often vary at the state level and by practice site. This article aims to collect information on how these roles compare as well as which procedures are actually being performed by advanced practice providers in the emergency department and critical care settings. Considering the healthcare system move towards team-based care, procedures performed by APPs align with the needs of the patient population served and correspond to the procedures done within the teams by physician providers. Independently billing under national provider identifier is cost effective but can be influenced by the current physician reimbursement system or lack of understanding of APP billing process by health care systems. Though there is limited research in this area, this article serves as a starting point to examining the current utilization and utility of APPs performing procedures in the emergency department and critical care settings.