Basically before you hire a physician assistant, you need to review the agreements you have with all insurance providers to determine whether the addition is going to be financially feasible for you.
Another concern is how the physician assistant will be efficiently utilized. Some physicians have been disappointed with the results of adding a PA to their practices because they did not know how to use their services in the practice. The physician assistants may also have been confused about the role they would play in the practice.
To prevent these problems, you should write a detailed job description which outlines all of the responsibilities of the potential PA. These will clearly establish your expectations for them before they join the practice. You should also plan beforehand how you would like to use the PA in your practice. Will they be working with certain patient populations? Will they be only providing support services for patients? Do you want them to handle certain health education programs? Let them know upfront what they will be doing and make sure their experience makes them a suitable match for those responsibilities.
Taking these steps should help reduce problems if you decide to hire a physician assistant.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the only one who can decide whether your practice would benefit from adding a PA is you. Although physician assistants do offer benefits for patients and can ease your workload, they are not always a necessity, particularly if you've done well at balancing the number of patients you see with your available time. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed by your number of patients or if you're looking for a good way to expand your practice, adding a physician's assistant is an option worth considering.
Resources Used in Article
About the Author
Amy Jorgensen is a freelance writer based in southern Indiana. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Southern California Physician magazine.
The author has no financial relationship to any of the companies listed in the article.