Billing For Nurse Practitioner Services: Guidelines for NPs, Physicians, Employers, and Insurers

Carolyn Buppert, NP, JD

Disclosures

January 31, 2002

In This Article

What Benefits Does an NP Bring to a Medical Practice?

An NP can bring the following to a practice:

  • Profit

  • Respite for a sole practitioner

  • Patient satisfaction

  • High-quality care[3]

  • A choice for the patient

Revenue, Expenses, and Profit-Generation for an NP in a Family Practice

The NP as revenue generator. A full-time NP who gets 1 week off for continuing education, 2 weeks vacation, and has 2 weeks of holiday days will work 5 days a week, 47 weeks per year. A reasonable patient load for a full-time NP is 20 patients per day. According to 1999 figures from Medicare, the average payment for an NP visit was approximately $40. (Though the average payment for all insurers may be higher than Medicare, these projections will rely on Medicare data.) Based on these projections, the annual revenues generated by this NP would be $188,000.

NP as employee -- expenses to consider. NP salaries vary by geographic region. The NP national salary average is approximately $63,000. If full benefits at 25% of salary are offered, the personnel expense runs about $78,750. If the additional overhead expenses of employing an NP are $40,000 (additional space, furniture, assistants, supplies, telephone, continuing education, and so on), the full expense of employing an NP would be approximately $118,750.

NP as a potential profit maker. In the example above, the practice's profit would be $69,250. Profits could surpass that amount for the NP whose average reimbursement per visit was greater than $40, or who attended to more than 20 patients per day.

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