We Asked: What's the Biggest Challenge PAs Will Face in the Next 3 Years?

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In last week's Buzz, we asked you to weigh in about what you think the biggest challenge for PAs will be over the next 3 years. Several PAs were worried about increasing competition with NPs, while others cited troubles related to maintenance of certification or insurance reimbursement. 

Here's what your PA peers had to say.



◉ Physicians are becoming less willing to supervise PAs. I have been passed up for 3 position changes within my company in favor of NPs as a result.

◉ Competition with NP schools. In my area, NPs are graduating at extremely high rates. Administrators often don't understand the differences in education between NPs and PAs when hiring and lump us into a single group.

◉ NP programs are flooding the market. I think our greatest challenge is to continue to embrace them, such as by inviting them to our conferences and avoiding slander or harsh comments. As long as we continue to maintain high standards of education and certification as we have since I became a PA 39 years ago, our professionalism and training will speak for themselves.

◉ Losing employment in specialties if the NCCPA continues to test PAs on general information. PAs may also lose employment to NPs, who test only once in their career.

◉ If our professional preparation remains at the Master's level, we risk job loss to DNPs. Hiring entities may perceive them as being more qualified than PAs because they hold a clinical doctorate degree.

◉ Medicare reimbursement. We need to focus on eliminating the 85% Medicare reimbursement in favor of direct payments to the provider. This would be possible with ongoing separation from physician oversight of PAs.

◉ Settling on maintenance of certification standards that are acceptable to all parties.

◉ Gaining more autonomy through lobbying/changing laws, including reducing our need for attending physicians in order to stay competitive with providers that do not require this oversight (such as NPs). I see a growing trend of NP job opportunities that do not include PAs because we depend on attending physicians. This also affects our ability to get telehealth jobs as well. I see NPs becoming more marketable than we are. I also see more jobs for NPs than PAs in some hospital health systems.

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