MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Nurse practitioners (NPs) are no more likely to prescribe inappropriately than primary care physicians, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Johnny Huynh, from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared rates of inappropriate prescribing among 23,669 NPs and 50,060 primary care physicians who wrote prescriptions for 100 or more patients per year. Patients included Medicare Part D beneficiaries aged 65 years or older.
The researchers found that the mean rates of inappropriate prescribing were almost identical for NPs and primary care physicians (crude rates, 1.63 versus 1.69 per 100 prescriptions; adjusted rates, 1.66 and 1.68, respectively; adjusted odds ratio, 0.99; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.01). Among clinicians with the highest and lowest rates of inappropriate prescribing, NPs were overrepresented. Discrepancies in inappropriate prescribing rates across states tended to be larger than discrepancies between practitioners within states .
“The authors’ findings add to a long list of empirical work showing that NPs provide equal or better quality of care when compared with their physician colleagues in primary care,” Michelle S. Keller, Ph.D., and Catherine A. Sarkisian, M.D., both from the University of California in Los Angeles, write in an accompanying editorial.
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