Nurse Practitioners and Their Effects on Visits to Primary Care Physicians
33 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 11, 2014
The demand for primary care services is expected to increase at a time of persistent shortages of primary care physicians (PCPs) in the U.S. A proposed solution is to expand the role of other allied health professions. This study examines the effects of visits to nurse practitioners (NPs) on the demand for PCP services. We employ a system of simultaneous equations where we use states’ education requirements for NPs as an identifying exclusion restriction. Results indicate that patients who visited an NP are significantly less likely to visit PCPs, and to receive prescribed medication, medical check-up, and diagnosis from PCPs. Findings were robust to other specification and passed a falsification test. The results suggest that the use of NPs could serve as a potential option to address shortages in supply of primary care services.
Keywords: nurse practitioners, supply of physicians, endogeneity
JEL Classification: I11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation