Dawn Morton-Rias, president and CEO of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, offers this advice on how physicians can best utilize PAs:
1. Let them do their job to the full extent of their license so that you can concentrate on your patients and the practice. Certified PAs practice medicine. They can provide complete patient care from diagnosing and treating patients, ordering and interpreting tests and prescribing medication. Let them know the door is open and encourage them to ask questions when needed.
2. Share the burden of special programs. Certified PAs have been successful when put in charge of practice-wide programs. Could this PA run the Annual Wellness Program in your practice, ensuring all Medicare patients take advantage of this visit? Could the PA manage group appointments for diabetic or hypertensive patients? What about assigning the PA to work with the technology group on EHR updates and workflow changes?
3. Extend access further with early morning/evening/Saturday clinics staffed by certified PAs. This will allow you to serve more patients and increase revenue to your practice.