PA staffing models yield similar clinical outcomes — 5 key notes

Written by Mary Rechtoris | October 24, 2016 | Print  |

JCOM published a study finding a hospitalist group with a high physician assistant-to-physician ratio yielded similar clinical outcomes when compared to a hospitalist group with a low PA-to-physician ratio.

In the study conducted between January 2012 and June 2013, researchers analyzed an expanded PA group, which featured three physicians and three PAs. The conventional staffing model group featured nine physicians and two PAs.


Here are five key notes:


1. Researchers noted 14.05 percent of patients in the expanded PA group were readmitted within 30 days, compared to 13.69 percent of patients in the conventional staffing PA model.


2. The expanded PA group had a 1.3 percent inpatient mortality rate, marginally more than the conventional staffing model's inpatient mortality rate (0.99 percent).


3. Researchers did not note a statistically significant difference in consultant use and length of stay between the two groups. The conventional group used an average of 0.56 consultants per case, while the expanded PA group used 0.55 consultants per case.


4. For the expanded PA group, the average charge to the patient totaled $2,644, less than $2,724 for the conventional group.


5. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded an expanded PA hospitalist staffing model at a community hospital yielded similar outcomes at a decreased cost of care.


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