Image of a nurse practitioner treating her patientImage of a nurse practitioner treating her patient

What does the rise of nurse practitioners mean for self-insured employers?

January 9, 2024
Lena Kelly

The rise of nurse practitioners has significant implications on healthcare access, patient satisfaction, and cost.

Recent years have been marked by a dramatic increase in the number of nurse practitioners in the U.S. healthcare system. With their new prominence, it’s easy to see the central role they play in tackling the healthcare issues that self-insured employers care most about, including care access, employee satisfaction, and cost-effective care.

Improved access to care

Many people point to the ongoing shortage of primary care physicians as one of the reasons for the rise of nurse practitioners. The U.S. has grappled with this deficit for years, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

Nurse practitioners have stepped in to bridge this gap, offering much-needed primary care services to patients who might otherwise struggle to access medical care. With more available nurse practitioners, the time it takes to see a provider is dramatically reduced, often by several weeks!

By addressing health issues early and promoting preventive measures, nurse practitioners reduce the need for costly interventions and emergency care, ultimately benefiting both employees and their employers.

Enhanced patient satisfaction

Nurse practitioners typically spend more time with patients, fostering stronger relationships and educating patients on their healthcare concerns. Accordingly, patients often report higher satisfaction with nurse-led care over doctor-led care.

Satisfied employees are more likely to actively participate in wellness programs and follow through with preventive care, aligning with the goals of self-insured employers to promote a healthy workforce.

Cost-effective delivery of services

Primary care provided by nurse practitioners is up to 34% less costly than care provided by physicians, according to the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy and Research. Self-insured employers who elect networks with nurse practitioners or create benefits programs around amplifying engagement with nurse practitioners stand to reap these benefits.

Some critics argue that the expansion of nurse practitioner roles may lead to concerns about the quality of care, as nurse practitioners are not physicians. However, extensive research shows that nurse practitioners, with their advanced education and training, deliver care that is comparable to that of physicians in many primary care settings.

Looking ahead

Nurse practitioners will continue to play a vital role in shaping the future of healthcare delivery. In fact, it’s expected that overall employment for nurse practitioners will grow 38 percent from 2022 to 2032 in the U.S., much faster than the average for all occupations.

By integrating nurse practitioners into their healthcare strategies, educating members on their many benefits, and helping members navigate the healthcare system to nurse practitioners when appropriate, employers can enhance the overall health and well-being of their workforce while effectively managing healthcare costs over the long term.

About Amino Health

Amino Health is the leading digital healthcare guidance solution. The only guidance platform that can handle the complexity of modern benefits programs, Amino makes it easy for members to navigate tiered networks, point solutions, incentive programs, and more. Amino replaces member confusion with confidence, ultimately driving cost savings, improved engagement with point solutions, and better health outcomes.

Related content

Amino Health introduces Smart Match Pro

Amino Health launches Smart Match Pro, putting the power of custom health networks into the hands of employers

Amino Health, the leading digital healthcare guidance platform, today announced the launch of Smart Match Pro, a new product capability that gives employers the unprecedented ability to optimize search results for their existing carrier networks for cost and quality, without needing to invest in supplemental networks or consultants.

Read Article
Healthcare data

Inaccurate healthcare data is costly for self-insured employers & employees

Healthcare data inaccuracies are widespread and cause significant downstream effects for consumers and self-insured employers alike. To combat these challenges, employers must take proactive steps to ensure their employees can find and access timely, cost-effective care.

Read Article