Using Physician Assistants Can Save Costs
Expanded use of physician assistant hospitalist staffing models can reduce healthcare costs and labor expenses without sacrificing quality. A study in the Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management (JCOM) found patient charges for clinical care teams with higher ratios of physician assistants had patient charges of approximately $7,822 versus $8,307 for teams with conventional physician assistant/physician ratios.
Another cost-savings factor is the lower median salary of $102, 960 that physician assistants command versus $253,977 for an internal medicine physician hospitalist salary.
Physician assistants and nurse practitioners often complement physician staffing by handling admissions, consults, rounding visits, and discharges with physician collaboration. The study concluded that expanded use of physician assistants with formal collaborative physician arrangements provides similar clinical quality to conventional physician-assistant staffing models with reduced patient care costs and lower labor costs.