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Doctor shortage leads to greater use of PAs and NPs as temps

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 1, 2013

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Hospitals and health systems are increasingly turning to temporary physician assistants and nurse practitioners during staffing shortages, according to a new survey.

Staff Care, a national temporary health care staffing firm, reported that requests for temporary PAs and NPs constituted 10% of requests in 2012, while in 2010 it made up about 2% of requests.

The increase in requests reflects a national shortage of these clinicians and physicians, according to the study’s authors.

“There are not enough PAs and NPs to make up for the provider shortages in primary care and other areas,” said Sean Ebner, president of Staff Care, in a statement. “Today, both advanced practitioners, such as PAs and NPs, and physicians are in short supply.”

Seventy-four percent of managers said their facilities had used temporary physicians or advanced practitioners in the last 12 months. Of these, 35% had used temporary primary care physicians, 31% had used temporary behavioral health professionals, 12% had used temporary surgeons, and 10% had used temporary PAs or NPs.

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