“There is limited information about how Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can affect patient satisfaction among elderly patients. This study considered the implications of assigning in-office Medicare Advantage (MA) plan NPs in Primary Care Physician (PCP) practices that were affiliated with the MA plan. Specifically, this was a baseline study that explored whether the presence of an NP in the PCP practice was associated with improved satisfaction of members of the MA plan with their PCP, and whether member satisfaction with their PCP was associated with satisfaction with the MA plan,” reports Dr. Bisakha Sen, professor in the department of health care organization and policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
[Photo: Dr. Bisakha Sen]
Multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to assess data self-reported by MA enrollees compared with data from participating PCPs to determine any association between an NP being in a practice (in 22 percent of study cases) and the respective PCP being rated highly, as well as the overall MA plan being regarded favorably. Findings indicate that PCPs whose offices included NPs were more likely to receive a high rating from members; those enrollees were also more likely to award the MA plan a high rating.
Dr. Sen and her co-investigators concluded that “these associative relationships support an intervention where the MA plan has started placing NPs in PCP practices. Follow-up analyses will help ascertain whether embedding NPs had a causal impact on improving patient satisfaction.”
“Nurse Practitioners in Physician Practices: Implications for Member Satisfaction” was published January 25 in the journal Hospital & Medical Management.