NPs and PAs: Working With You

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, PA-C

Disclosures

March 12, 2002

In This Article

The Rationale

PAs and NPs fulfill a concept known as the "physician extender" -- they enable a busy physician to supervise the care of more patients while still maintaining quality of care. Salaries for PAs average around $60,000,[5] similar to that for NPs. This makes them highly cost-effective providers, as they will generally see only slightly fewer patients than will a physician. In arenas such as surgery when PAs act as the "first assistant," PAs may have a higher salary than a surgical resident, but have the advantage of continuity and longer-term experience compared with the shifting dynamic of a residency program.

Most insurances will reimburse for visits and procedures done by PAs and NPs at the same rate as for the physician. (There are some requirements with respect to Medicare, but those would require a whole other article in order to clarify.)

This is a short overview. However, it covers the basics so that you can ask intelligent questions about what role PAs and NPs play in whatever setting you're involved in. If you're not sure about something, ask. Most of us don't bite.

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