Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

Search Symptoms

Category: Family Medicine | Internal Medicine | Emergency Medicine | Nursing | Radiology | Journal

Back to Journal Articles

NPs, PAs Use More Diagnostic Imaging Compared to Physicians

Last Updated: November 26, 2014.

Advanced practice clinicians use more imaging than primary care physicians, according to a study published online Nov. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Advanced practice clinicians (APCs) use more imaging than primary care physicians (PCPs), according to a study published online Nov. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Danny R. Hughes, Ph.D., from the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute in Reston, Va., and colleagues compared the use of diagnostic imaging ordered by APCs (specifically, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) versus PCPs following office-based encounters. Data were obtained from 2010 to 2011 Medicare claims for a 5 percent sample of beneficiaries.

The researchers found that APCs ordered imaging in 2.8 percent of episodes of care, compared with 1.9 percent for PCPs. APCs were more likely to order imaging than PCPs in adjusted estimates and across all patient groups and imaging services (odds ratio, 1.34), ordering 0.3 percent more images per episode. Increased radiography orders were seen for APCs on both new and established patients (odds ratios, 1.36 and 1.33, respectively), ordering 0.3 and 0.2 percent more images per episode of care, respectively. For advanced imaging, increased imaging was seen in association with APCs for established patients (odds ratio, 1.28), ordering 0.1 percent more images, while for new patients there was no significant difference between APCs and PCPs.

"While increased use of imaging appears modest for individual patients, this increase may have ramifications on care and overall costs at the population level," the authors write.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)


Previous: Hospital Volume Not Linked to Costs of Cancer Surgery Next: Obesity Tied to Half a Million Cancers Worldwide

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion: