Nurse practitioners and managed care: patient satisfaction and intention to adhere to nurse practitioner plan of care

Eileen Hayes
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2007, 19 (8): 418-26

PURPOSE: To explore patient satisfaction, intention to adhere to nurse practitioner (NP) plan of care, and the impact of managed care on NPs' patients in multiple settings, the final phase of a three-part study of NPs and managed care.

DATA SOURCES: Postvisit questionnaires and narrative comments about patient satisfaction with NP communication, overall satisfaction with visit, recall of plan of care, intention to adhere to NP's recommendations, and impact of managed care on ease of obtaining healthcare resources.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients were very satisfied with NP communication and with their healthcare visit. They mostly intended to adhere to the NP-recommended plan of care but less so to recommended lifestyle changes. Patients trusted their NPs, valued their expertise, were confident in the NPs' care, and believed that the NPs considered their best interests. They appreciated that the NPs took time to listen to their concerns and helped them to obtain healthcare resources. Most patients were not greatly impacted by managed care and obtained needed healthcare resources with little difficulty.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Although the first two phases of this study found that many NPs had strong negative attitudes toward managed care, these attitudes were not conveyed toward patients in this sample. NPs, however, will continue to face new challenges as third-party payers attempt to reduce healthcare costs, further testing NP adaptability and resourcefulness.

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