Demand for PAs, NPs Highlights Move to Team Care

The was strong demand for advanced practice clinicians in 2013 and the continue increase in the workforce for 2014 highlights the move to a more team-based approach to patient care.

The advanced practice clinician (APC) workforce is continuing to grow, highlighting the move to a more team-based approach to patient care, according to a new survey.

The report, from the American Medical Group Association (MGMA) and Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, Inc., (SullivanCotter), found that two-thirds of organizations reported an increase in their APC workforce in the last year, and the same number expects an increase in the next 12 months. Over 300 health systems, hospitals and physicians practice groups participated in the survey.

"This increase may signal a move toward integrating APCs across systems and developing a more comprehensive strategy for managing this important provider group," Kay Jensen, principal and employee compensation practice leader for SullivanCotter, said in a statement.

Compensation ranges for this workforce. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners in specialties earn a median of $97,272 and $97,858, respectively, according to the report’s data. However, those working in hospital-based specialties earn a median of $104,000.

While the primary component of compensation is a guaranteed salary, nearly half (45%) or organizations who responded said they use a combination of guaranteed salary and incentive pay for at least some of the APC workforce.

The top measures used for nurse practitioners and physician assistants are work relative value units (RVUs) and quality. These incentives contribute to approximately 10% of compensation plan components.

"For years, we have seen the movement towards a more team-based, coordinated approach to patient care," AMGA President and Chief Executive Officer Donald W. Fisher, PhD, CAE, said in a statement. “As more and more groups expand these models throughout their organizations, this survey provides a tool to systematically track and benchmark changes in this area, which will help them in their strategic and financial planning for continued growth and success."