This study is designed to assess the cost of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by nurse practitioners (s) billing under their own National Provider Identification number as compared to primary care physicians ().
Medicare Part A (inpatient) and Part B (office visit) claims for 2009–2010.
Retrospective cohort design using propensity score weighted regression.
Beneficiaries cared for by a random sample of s and primary care physicians.
After adjusting for demographic characteristics, geography, comorbidities, and the propensity to see an , Medicare evaluation and management payments for beneficiaries assigned to an were $207, or 29 percent, less than assigned beneficiaries. The same pattern was observed for inpatient and total office visit paid amounts, with 11 and 18 percent less for assigned beneficiaries, respectively. Results are similar for the work component of relative value units as well.
This study provides new evidence of the lower cost of care for beneficiaries managed by s, as compared to those managed by s across inpatient and office‐based settings. Results suggest that increasing access to primary care will not increase costs for the Medicare program and may be cost saving.