Every healthcare practitioner should work at the top of his or her license. That’s why non-physician providers – or NPPs – are essential to medical practice productivity. NPPs include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, and physical therapists. These providers possess a skill set along the clinical continuum between registered nurses and doctors.
Create a Blueprint for Non-Physician Providers
Practices should evaluate their current needs to see which NPP(s) can fulfill those needs. There are three ways that practices incorporate NPPs most often:
1. The NPP is the first patient contact, and the physicians are consultants.
2. The NPP provides continuing care for Medicare patients according to the doctor’s care plan.
3. The NPP handles more routine cases while the doctors take on more complex cases. The NPPs may also treat same-day patients when the doctor’s schedule is full.
Construct Patient Care Goals
The patient care team approach groups a physician with an NPP and several nurses. Together, they form a smoothly functioning team that is assigned to individual patients. While the future of primary care continues to evolve, some speculate that smaller groups of doctors will oversee larger groups of NPPs. In this model, NPPs are responsible for most patient encounters. Physicians primarily supervise NPPs, review performance data, perform diagnoses, and handle the most complicated cases.
Recruit and Retain Non-Physician Providers
To recruit and retain the best NPPs, practices should offer a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits, including a CME allowance, licensure fees, malpractice premiums, and professional memberships. They should also consider implementing a productivity incentive plan, such as a percentage of net collections attributable to the NPP.
A Strong Foundation Starts with CRI
With careful planning and screening of candidates, adding a non-physician provider to the practice could be a strategic move. CRI’s medical practice CPAs can help you build practice productivity by developing a plan for NPPs. Additionally, we can analyze your payor contracts for reimbursement levels and help you create a patient care process that incorporates your NPPs.