Cost of Health Care: Federal Study Proves Physician-Led Medical Care Leads To Better Patient Care And Lower Costs Compared To Care Provided By Nurse Practitioners

Physician-led care reduces cost and leads to better health outcomes.  That’s the conclusion of a study of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) emergency departments.

The federal study states, “compared to physicians, NPs [nurse practitioners] use more medical resources: They require longer lengths of stay and incur higher costs.  However, they achieve less favorable patient outcomes, as measured by 30-day preventable hospitalizations.”

The National Bureau of Economic Research released the Stanford study highlighting the difference cost and quality between nurse practitioners and physicians in VHA emergency departments.  The study finds that nurse practitioners use more resources and achieve worse health outcomes than physicians.

There is a legislative effort in Raleigh to eliminate physician involvement in patient care.  Removing physicians from the patient care team would negatively impact patient safety, lead to higher costs, and would have minimal impact on access to care.  This policy proposal is bad for North Carolina patients.

The NC Patient Safety Coalition is an alliance of medical professionals that advocate for physician-led health care that protects patient safety.  Learn more on our website at, and follow us on Twitter @NCPatientSafety and Facebook