8. Physician Extenders See An Expanded Role In Patient Care
The droves of newly insured Americans means an unprecedented pressure on physicians. The shortage of primary care physicians given that more patients will need to be seen may mean that nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists - the so-called extenders - can step up to do more.
Indiana and Vermont launched their first nurse-practitioner led primary care practices in 2014, and states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan had bills by October to expand the role of nurse practitioners. The PwC report states that another dozen are expected to have similar bills in 2015.
And consumers appear to be ready for this transition. A PwC survey found that 75% of consumers said they would be comfortable seeing a nurse practitioner or physician assistant for physicals, prescriptions, treatment of minor maladies, and while ordering lab tests. And 50% reported being comfortable going to a pharmacist instead of a doctor for some services.