(HealthDay News) — Advanced practice providers (APPs), including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, deliver a quality of outpatient cardiovascular care that is similar to that provided by physicians, according to a study published online October 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, and colleagues compared the quality of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, and atrial fibrillation care delivered by physicians and APPs for outpatient visits (January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012) using data from the American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE Registry (883 providers [716 physicians and 167 APPs] in 41 practices who cared for 459,669 patients).
The researchers found that the mean number of patients seen by APPs (260.7) was lower than the mean number seen by physicians (581.2). APPs and physicians had comparable compliance with most CAD, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation measures. APPs had a higher rate of smoking cessation screening and intervention (adjusted rate ratio, 1.14) and cardiac rehabilitation referral (rate ratio, 1.4) among CAD patients compared with physicians. Results were similar whether the researchers compared practices with both physicians and APPs or physician-only practices.
“Apart from minor differences, a collaborative care delivery model, using both physicians and APPs, may deliver an overall comparable quality of outpatient cardiovascular care compared with a physician-only model,” conclude the authors.
Two authors report financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.