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Provider Type and Quality of Outpatient Cardiovascular Disease Care: Insights From the NCDR PINNACLE Registry.

Virani SS, Maddox TM, Chan PS, Tang F, Akeroyd JM, Risch SA, Oetgen WJ, Deswal A, Bozkurt B, Ballantyne CM, Petersen LA. Provider Type and Quality of Outpatient Cardiovascular Disease Care: Insights From the NCDR PINNACLE Registry. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2015 Oct 20; 66(16):1803-12.

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BACKGROUND: The current number of physicians will not be sufficient to accommodate 30 to 40 million Americans expected to secure health coverage with Affordable Care Act implementation. One proposed solution is to use advanced practice providers (APPs) (nurse practitioners and physician assistants). OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether there were clinically meaningful differences in the quality of care delivered by APPs versus physicians in a national sample of cardiology practices. METHODS: Within the American College of Cardiology''s PINNACLE Registry, we compared quality of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, and atrial fibrillation care delivered by physicians and APPs for outpatient visits between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012. We performed hierarchical regression adjusting for provider sex; panel size; duration of participation in registry; and patient''s age, sex, insurance, number of outpatient visits, history of hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass grafting in the preceding 12 months. RESULTS: We included 883 providers (716 physicians and 167 APPs) in 41 practices who cared for 459,669 patients. Mean number of patients seen by APPs (260.7) was lower compared with that seen by physicians (581.2). Compliance with most CAD, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation measures was comparable, except for a higher rate of smoking cessation screening and intervention (adjusted rate ratio: 1.14; 95% confidence interval: 1.03 to 1.26) and cardiac rehabilitation referral (rate ratio: 1.40; 95% confidence interval: 1.16 to 1.70) among CAD patients receiving care from APPs. Compliance with all eligible CAD measures was low for both (12.1% and 12.2% for APPs and physicians, respectively) with no significant difference. Results were consistent when comparing practices with both physicians and APPs (n = 41) and physician-only practices (n = 49). CONCLUSIONS: 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.

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