The Rise Of The Midlevel Primary Care Provider

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The Rise Of The Midlevel Primary Care Provider
Recent changes in health insurance coverage and the changing face of the patient population have converged to create a unique healthcare marketplace, rife with opportunities not only for patients but for providers as well. With the passing of the Affordable Health Care Act, 32 million Americans who previously could not afford health care insurance coverage became eligible to purchase affordable healthcare. These patients, therefore, will be able to receive services they have perhaps needed but were previously unable to afford. (Furlow, 2012) The American population includes 75.4 million Baby Boomers, who will be enjoying the retirement years but will be managing chronic health conditions such as COPD, heart disease, and diabetes. (American Hospital Association, 2007) While this increased patient population seeking healthcare services is causing concern for a problematic shortage of physicians, (Raines, 2014) it also heralds new and exciting solutions which include opening doors for midlevel providers, such as Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants, to succeed as primary healthcare providers in the world of a rapidly changing healthcare system.
Both the Physician’s Assistant and Nurse Practitioner professions are relatively new in medicine. (American Association of Physician Assistants, n.d) Interestingly, these professions were born of necessity during physician shortages in the 1960s. According to Michener, the first

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