Two-thirds of NPs Recognized by CMS for Primary Care Excellence

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In 2012 there were 35,080 nurse practitioner (NP) and 637 clinical nurse specialist (CNS) awardees under the Primary Care Incentive Program (PCIP) instituted through the Affordable Care Act. That means that two-thirds of the NPs in Medicare Part B and one-quarter of the CNSs were recognized for outstanding provision of primary care services. Those selected APRNs, certain primary care physician specialties, and PAs were eligible for the incentive payment if their primary care services accounted for at least 60 percent of their total allowed charges under the physician fee schedule in the qualifying calendar year. NP winners of PCIP awards received $49,693,372 and CNS winners received $1,146,898. The 2012 incentive payments represented a 27% increase for NPs and a 34% increase for CNSs relative to 2011, the first year of the program. The number of NPs who won awards increased 46% with CNSs increasing by 55%. The number of award winners practicing in rural areas also increased substantially. With respect to winning clinicians across all specialties there were 62% more practicing in rural areas than there were in the prior year. Rural NPs who won PCIP payments more than doubled, from 3,181 to 7,226.

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