3 ways physician assistants can increase patient experience, satisfaction

Physician assistants have many opportunities to improve the patient experience but aren't typically part of the discussion when it comes to value-based payment models, according to a blog post on Health Affairs.

Certified PAs in particular are integral to healthcare teams that are subject to the patient satisfaction measures associated with the new payment models, writes Dawn Morton-Rias, president and CEO of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, in the post.  

Indeed, as the healthcare industry seeks to find ways to address the primary care shortage, a nationwide survey last year found that patients are more open to care provided by physician assistants and believe the providers will be part of the solution to address the country's lack of primary care providers, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Morton-Rias points to several ways PACs can positively impact the patient experience. Here are three of them:

  1. Slash wait times for care: PAs often are on staff in physician offices and can see walk-in appointments sooner. This can result in faster treatment for patients.

  2. Take the lead on wellness programs: PAs can develop and run preventive health and wellness initiatives, which Morton-Rais describes as "must have" programs because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will reimburse them. 

  3. Address the needs of chronically-ill patients: PAs that focus on this at-risk population can help manage their care at home and prevent unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

To learn more:
- read the blog post