Advanced practitioners (APs) are an important member of medical oncology team, providing a variety of services as both independent providers and physician extenders.
Last week, we discussed how APs can increase oncologists’ capacity—but that depends on how clinics use APs and if they’re practicing at top of license. Keep reading to see how medical oncology clinics across the country deploy APs.
APs assigned to physician or clinic(s)
According to our recent survey, the majority of clinics assign APs to a physician, a clinic, or across clinic sites. More than 40% of respondents assign APs to a specific physician.
How advanced practitioners are assigned
APs are tasked with a diverse set of responsibilities
We also asked respondents to indicate which services (from a list of 20 responsibilities) their APs perform in the medical oncology clinic. Overall, APs are responsible for an average total of 7.9 different tasks.
Providing symptom management and conducting follow-up visits are the two most common tasks performed by APs, with 94% of our respondents reporting that APs take on these roles. Other common responsibilities of APs include writing patient notes, providing infusion center supervision, supporting patients on oral chemotherapy, and assisting with new patient visits.
Top 10 tasks assigned to APs
|Tasks assigned to APs||Percent of respondents|
|Provide symptom management||94%|
|Conduct follow up||94%|
|Dictate or write patient notes||79%|
|Provide infusion center supervision||56%|
|Support patients on oral chemotherapy||56%|
|Assist with new patient visits||54%|
|Writing admissions and discharge summaries||48%|
|Write chemo orders on behalf of a physician||47%|
|Manage survivorship clinic||47%|
|Perform routine procedures||48%|
This data reveals that many APs aren’t practicing to the full extent of their education and training. For instance, over three-quarters of respondents say APs spend time dictating or writing patient notes, while only 46% of medical oncology clinics have APs performing routine procedures.
Although state regulations and payer policies differ locally, giving APs the opportunity to provide top-of-license care has the potential to expand clinic capacity.
Direct billing is most common for AP services
Another question we commonly receive is how APs bill for their services. We found that more than half of medical oncology clinics bill directly, but shared billing and incident-to-billing are also quite common. 22% of institutions reported employing a variety of the above billing methods.
How institutions bill for the work of APs