1. Hooker, Roderick S. PhD
  2. Benitez, Joseph A. MPH
  3. Coplan, Bettie H. MPAS, PA
  4. Dehn, Richard W. MPA, PA


As the US population increases and ages, more patients require care. A reengineered health care system relies on physician assistants and nurse practitioners; however, the extent to which they care for medical conditions is marginally known. We analyzed ambulatory visits by provider type and diagnosis focusing on chronic diseases to identify differences in patients seen by each type of provider. Both physician assistants and nurse practitioners attended 14% of 777 million weighted visits. Overall, diabetes and hypertension accounted for 2% to 4% of visits. The distribution of visits for chronic disease diagnoses appears to be similar for all 3 providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants). These findings may improve organizational efficiency in ambulatory systems.