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Dear Physicians for Patient Protection

Posted on 18th Apr 2022 18:42:19 in Media Release

Tagged as: physicians, patient protection, pas, nps, mississippi, primary care, unnecessary imaging,

April 17, 2022

 

Dear Physicians for Patient Protection,

 

PAs for Tomorrow (PAFT) would like to respond to the article, “A Study in Mississippi Concludes 

that Non-Physician Care Costs More” (6 Apr 22), written and published online (Link to article) by 

Physicians for Patient Protection regarding PAs and NPs contributing to higher patient care costs. 

In the report, a multispecialty clinic in Mississippi has calculated that hiring more PAs and NPs 

to fill the void of a deficiency of primary care posifions has cost patients 28 million dollars 

annually due to ordering excessive and unnecessary imaging, laboratory, and specialty 

consultations.

 

PAFT would like to rebut this article. First, this article does not offer any data on comparing 

physician-ordered labs over the past I\ve years. Additionally, it does not compare the cost of the 

studies in today's dollars nor does it account for the staggering rise in costs of these tests 

annually. Lastly, but most importantly, this study contains significant bias and was published by 

an organization that seeks to benefit from its content. In December of 2018, the CMS announced 

(Link to announcement) a 20% increase in lab costs.

 

PAFT understands the intended purpose of the article was to point out that PAs and NPs order more 

unnecessary tests, imaging studies, and special consults than physicians. However, the article 

fails to mention that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an almost universal increase in 

health care spending to include labs, imaging, and other ancillary ordering. To place the blame for 

increased spending at the feet of PAs and NPs is not only inaccurate it is scapegoating.

 

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) published an article, “AAMC Report Reinforces 

Mounting Phvsician Shortage” (11 Jun 21), reporting a prospected physician shortage of 124,000 

physicians in the next twelve years. So far the physician-led community has had no remedy to fill 

this significantly growing gap. Physician Associates have been vital in helping to fill this health 

care shortage. The PA profession took a stand during this pandemic, next to physicians, under a 

Hippocratic oath to provide safe and reliable care in the face of crisis, and together these teams 

saved lives. Increasing ancillary costs should not be placed at the feet of the PA profession 

alone.

 

Although PAs are earning increased independence, the majority of PAs fell under archaic laws, were 

on teams led by physicians, and faced a pandemic at the time this data was obtained. This cost is 

the burden of the health system, not the PA. This arficle not only fails to provide reliable data, 

it is also a smear tactic against a selfless profession who stood and continues to stand next to 

physicians every day with a commitment to save lives.

 

Finally, the PA profession was NOT tasked with cutting health care costs. The PA profession was 

developed and has been tasked with helping bridge the growing gap of physician shortages in primary 

care. The PA community has had a monumental response to their task, what is Physicians for Patient 

Protection doing to help physicians meet theirs?

 

Regards,

 

Adam Buzzerd, PA-C President, PAs For Tomorrow

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