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The Expanding Role of Advanced Practice Providers in Urologic Procedural Care

      Objective

      To understand the role of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) in urologic procedural care and its change over time. As the population ages and the urologic workforce struggles to meet patient access demands, the role of APPs in the provision of all aspects of urologic care is increasing. However, little is currently known about their role in procedural care.

      Materials and Methods

      Commonly performed urologic procedures were linked to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes from 1994 to 2012. National Medicare Part B beneficiary claims frequency was identified using Physician Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files. Trends were studied for APPs, urologists, and all other providers nationally across numerous procedures spanning complexity, acuity, and technical skill set requirements.

      Results

      Between 1994 and 2012, annual Medicare claims for urologic procedures by APPs increased dramatically. Cystoscopy increased from 24 to 1820 (+7483%), transrectal prostate biopsy from 17 to 834 (+4806%), complex Foley catheter placement from 471 to 2929 (+522%), urodynamics testing from 41 to 9358 (+22,727%), and renal ultrasound from 18 to 4500 (+24,900%)

      Conclusion

      We found dramatic growth in the provision of urologic procedural care by APPs over the past 2 decades. These data reinforce the known expansion of the APP role in urology and support the timeliness of ongoing collaborative multidisciplinary educational efforts to address unmet needs in education, training, and guideline formation to maximize access to urologic procedural services.
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