Everyone, sick or well, is affected by the rising expense of healthcare. It has been stifling individual spending power for years. Even with the increment in salaries, the net income remains unchanged due to rising healthcare costs. However, to help out and manage things in this time of distress, nurse practitioners (NPs) have been playing a remarkable role.
As NPs are certified professionals, they can treat various ailments, disorders, and conditions. They can also request necessary diagnostic tests and conduct thorough physical examinations. As per the years of individual study, the patients treated by NPs have an outcome similar to the patients treated by physicians. Furthermore, studies show that nurse practitioners are exceptionally cost-effective, which is a great requirement as healthcare costs continue to rise.
The need for primary care physician services is expected to surpass availability as the US populace expands. Nurse practitioners contribute to primary care by filling the gaps and increasing access to high-quality treatment. NPs provide the patient with evaluation, health promotion, diagnosis, treatment, counseling, education, care coordination, and case management contingent on their area of practice and specification. Here we are enlisting the ways NPs can reduce healthcare costs while improving the quality of care.
1) Delivery of High-Quality Care
NPs are very well-trained practitioners, enabling them to handle 90% of the treatment delivered by primary care physicians without consultations and referrals. Nurse practitioners working collaboratively with healthcare professionals deliver efficient, high-quality patient care equivalent to or better than that provided by doctors alone. The NPs perform an essential part in enhancing the effectiveness of patient care, and NPs can securely enhance the physician supply to increase access to care.
According to research, granting nurse practitioners complete practice authority improves healthcare quality and saves money. Patient access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare is improved when constraints to nurse practitioner practice are removed.
2) Care is Cost-Effective
From the start of the graduate academic programs, nurse practitioners deliver advanced nursing care, which relies on the professional licensure of a registered nurse and graduate schooling that concentrates on one specification. This is in stark comparison to med school, where students enter with no prior experience in healthcare or patient care and spend time in rotations that are frequently irrelevant to the treatment they will eventually provide. As a result, competence-based nurse practitioner training costs 20%-25% cheaper than physician training for equal healthcare with comparable patient-care outcomes.
The lockdown has also made it more accessible for students to enroll in online NP programs. Over the course of two years, a workplace clinic administered by a single NP saved roughly $2.18 million direct in medical care costs, not even including secondary savings from productivity loss and absenteeism. According to the insurance reform, the state estimated that increasing utilization of NPs may save $4.2 to $8.4 billion in over a decade in Massachusetts.
3) Filling Gaps in Care
As stated by the National Center for Health Workforce Analytics, owing to rapid population growth, aging, and insurance coverage expansion, there is a higher demand for primary care services, leading to a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians. The total number of visits to primary care physicians will reach 565 million by 2025. Nurse practitioners can assist in filling gaps in treatment due to physician shortages. The total number of trained NPs is expected to rise by 30%, from 55,400 in 2010 to 72,100. As per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 89 percent of nurse practitioners are trained in primary care, and more than 75 percent work in primary care settings.
Nurse practitioners are not just the high-quality, devoted, and cost-effective clinicians in the ways mentioned above. They are also prepared to practice without physician supervision, which means they can progress patient care without the necessity for chart reviews, collaborative agreements, or other demands which generate redundant information and backlogs in healthcare provision. As a result, a growing number of states, currently 21, plus Washington, D.C., have given nurse practitioners full practice power, allowing patients immediate access to the full range of services they’ve been educated and qualified to provide.
4) Excel at Managing Health Conditions
Nurse practitioners spend significant time with patients, which is one of the reasons why they can provide care comprehensively, coordinate according to illnesses, and preserve patient confidentiality. In healthcare today, this basic patient-centered act of scheduling lengthier visits to permit more patient queries, training, and counseling has proved essential in health improvement and lowering wasteful expenses. Today, an increasing proportion of Americans suffer from various, complicated chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, which are key healthcare expense drivers. Nurse practitioners are increasingly encountering such patients and have been demonstrated to be able to assist them in resolving their issues.
When it comes to patient satisfaction, nurse practitioners consistently outperform other healthcare providers, owing to their ability to listen to and comprehend patients’ problems. This builds confidence between the patient and the practitioner, which is essential for patients to take an active role in their own healthcare. It also encourages patients to stick to their treatment programs and attend regular follow-up and wellness visits, crucial for cost-effectiveness and healthcare quality.
5) Treat the Whole Patient
The NPs treat the whole patient, not just the disease. Nurse practitioners focus on the whole person rather than just the condition. Nurse practitioners do more than just diagnose and treat the patient’s illness. They also attend to the needs of a person’s overall health. This could include providing medication while also coaching patients on food and exercise and troubleshooting how to best treat other conditions that could halt a patient’s progress. There is no doubt that a person starts to heal more quickly when treated with love and care, where NPs play a huge role.
Every profession that serves people is respectable, specially the medical workers who work tirelessly to help us stay healthy. Saving the life of one person means that you have saved the entire mankind. NPs are slowly growing in number in different parts of the world and are now being recognized more for their work. Their dedication and selflessness have earned them a good name in soci