Wendy Stern, MD, an otolaryngologist at Southcoast Physicians Group in North Dartmouth, Mass., spoke specifically about building the business case to hire an APP. “Just over half of us are in private practice,” said Dr. Stern, describing the results of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery socioeconomic survey. Whether a physician is in private practice or practices in a larger setting, the first questions to ask are: What do I need, and what do I want? The answers to these questions could be improved patient access or improved quality of care. According to Dr. Stern, “Every business plan has to look at quality because that is going to affect the bottom line.”
Many physicians feel challenged to deliver the access and quality that an increasing number of patients now demand. APPs can help the practice meet that challenge because they not only improve access, but they can also improve quality as documented by outcomes and patient satisfaction. APPs can provide more face time for the patient, decrease wait time, and improve the efficiency of clinic flow. They also make it easier for patients to access early follow-up clinics and discharge visits.