Nurse Practitioners vs. Primary Care Physicians
Diabetes Mellitus Care Provided by Nurse Practitioners vs Primary Care Physicians.
Whether provider type makes a difference in the outcome or scope of diabetes management is subject of debate. Particularly, Nurse practitioners (NPs) and Primary care physicians (PAs) can provide types of primary care to diabetes patients, but little is known about which group can provide better care for diabetes patients. Therefore, studies have been comparing the two groups on the extent to which they provide care.
According to the study conducted by Kuo et al., (2015), in a cross-sectional retrospectives study, the management of patients with diabetes observed wholly by primary physicians was compared with the management of nurse practitioners. The care received, healthcare costs, and patient outcome was noted in order access the quality care provided by these two groups. The study found that average cost per patient was 64 percent lower in nurse practitioners than in the primary physicians. Average inpatient cost was 138% ($14,700) lower in the nurse practitioners group, outpatient cost was 28% ($5500) lower, and average home-health costs were 70% lower ($400)
It can then be concluded that that for patients with diabetes mellitus, nurse practitioner care is less costly than primary physicians. On the other hand, the quality of care in nurse practitioner is less or equal to the primary physicians. In addition, a study conducted by Wilkinson, Whitehead, and Ritchie (2014) reveal that it is hard to compare these groups in based on quality care since in some instances, quality care depends on the experience and skills of the healthcare professional.