Latest News on Marketplace Changes – Roles of NPs and PAs Continue to Grow

In recent years, health care has seen the role of ancillary/allied medical professionals continue to grow and expand. Along with these increased responsibilities in care, there has been an equal rise in risk exposure. With this change in business operations, more and more of these professionals are in need of medical malpractice insurance coverage. AANP, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, has tracked the legislation by state in regards to a NP’s practice (click their map below).
It seems AANP is not the only one to notice the growth in this sector. USA Today did an interesting analysis using data from AANP and other trade organizations. Here are a few excerpts below:
“Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are a fast growing part of the medical marketplace. Medicare billing records show 15% more Nurse Practitioners and 11% more Physician Assistants received payments in 2013 than in 2012 for all types of care. During that same year, the number of General Practice physicians paid by Medicare for the elderly and disabled dropped by 5%. Experts say this reflects the rising influence of non-physician caregivers in a changing health care system beset by doctor shortages and now taxed even more by a growing number of patients gaining insurance through [the Affordable Care Act].  It also shines light on the high-level of care that NPs and PAs have been providing for many years. Until now, that’s been largely under the radar, but is revealed with the release of government payments to health care providers, which clearly show these caregivers are a growing force in medicine.” 
“Nearly 900 PAs were paid for heart artery bypasses and another 950 for spinal fusion procedures, as ‘first assistants’ to physicians in these operations. NPs increasingly provide psychotherapy for Medicare patients and their families. More than 1,000 Nurse Practitioners billed for a total of nearly 200,000 psychotherapy visits in 2013.” 
“Overall, Medicare payments in 2013 totaled $1.5 billion for nearly 65,000 Nurse Practitioners and $1 billion for about 50,000 Physician Assistants…. The main driver of these trends is the rapid growth in the sheer numbers of non-physicians in health care. The ranks of NPs grew from 60,000 in 1999 to 171,000 in 2013; and the ranks of PAs grew from 83,466 in 2010 to 101,977 in 2015 according to their respective trade organizations.” 
Read the full article on
HPSI has various markets available for NPs and PAs that can provide Claims Made and Occurrence coverage options as well as Individual and Group policy forms.