The new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is applying more importance on nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in the healthcare system. The mid-level practitioner (NPs and PAs) field and job market are projected to expand as a result of the ACA. Primary care is the foundation of the evolving healthcare system, with equal access being the intended goal of the ACA. Along the way to meeting future demand for primary care, mid-level practitioners can be increasingly utilized to meet the needs of millions of Americans who will be insured for the first time.
ACA Directly Impacts Mid-level Practitioner Field
Groups such as the Association of American Medical Colleges project a shortage of 90,000 medical doctors by 2020. The influx of previously uninsured patients will ultimately put a strain on the current healthcare system. The holes in the system will be filled by NPs and PAs as much of the new patient load will eventually become their responsibility. More people will soon acquire health coverage through new insurance marketplaces and expanded Medicaid programs, causing the mid-level practitioner field to continuously expand.
A Health Profession in High Demand
The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics predicts physician assistants will be the second-fastest growing health profession within the next decade. Lawrence Herman, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), went on record to say, “Currently, there are more than 93,000 PAs throughout the United States whose education in general medicine prepares them to be extremely nimble, positioning them very well to address an influx of 20 million new patients entering the healthcare system.”
The American Healthcare System Needs PAs
According to the AAPA, the number of PAs has grown by a third since 2006. Over 7,000 newly accredited physician assistants graduate each year. They go on to manage patients with both immediate needs such as injuries to chronic diseases such as diabetes. PAs have the capability to write prescriptions, perform minor surgery and coordinate patient care. “PAs can perform up to 85% of the duties of physicians…which allows us to pivot easily in diverse practice settings, bridge gaps in care and solve patient problems in this new era of healthcare,” said Herman. “Now, more than ever, America needs PAs.”
Since 2006, the PA profession has grown 34% and is expected to continue growing. NP PA Recruiters is committed to filling that growing demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants by recruiting quality candidates. NPs and PAs searching for a job should check out our career listings page or give us a call at 956-772-1400 or 214-351-3880 today.