11/6/2013

Expanding the role and use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants could relieve the expected doctor shortage resulting from the Affordable Care Act by around 50%, according to a study from nonprofit group RAND Corp. Adoption of new primary care models including medical homes and nurse-managed health centers that rely heavily on NPs and PAs would lower demand for physicians, researchers said. But to achieve this goal, states must be willing to change policies "such as laws to expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and physician assistants," said RAND policy analyst David Auerbach.

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