SAN ANTONIO — A split clinic model allows physician assistants (PAs) to practice independently from physicians at academic teaching institutions while maintaining a high quality of care, according to research presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA).
Travis L. Randolph, PA-C, ATC, and colleagues, of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University, conducted a 6-month pilot study comparing the difference between PAs working in split clinics versus shared clinics at academic teaching institutions. In the split clinic models, PAs functioned autonomously as a health care provider; PAs practicing in a shared clinic model functioned like a medical resident and were paired with a supervising physician.
At the end of the 6-month study, the researchers saw a 17% increase in total number of patients seen in split clinics versus shared clinics, as well as a 41% increase in new patients and a 16% increase in returning patients.
“This study illustrates that utilizing PAs appropriately can significantly increase patient access to care and generate increased revenue for the department,” concluded Mr. Randolph. “Utilizing a split clinic model allows physician assistants to function at the highest scope of their practice and provide quality patient care at academic teaching institutions.”
- Randolph TL, McDonough EB, Olson ED. Pilot study: Utilization of physician assistants at academic teaching hospitals. ePoster presented at: American Academy of PAs 2016; May 14-18, 2016; San Antonio, Texas