Advanced Practice Providers Utilization Trends in Otolaryngology From 2012 to 2017 in the Medicare Population

Marshall Ge*, Jee Hong Kim, Stephanie Shintani Smith, Julianna Paul, Christine Park, Peiyi Su, Elisabeth H. Ference

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Nurse practitioners and physician assistants form a growing advanced practice provider (APP) group. We aim to analyze the trends and types of services provided by APPs in otolaryngology. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use Files, 2012-2017. Methods: The Medicare database was searched for 13 commonly used otolaryngology-specific Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, and 10 evaluation and management (E/M) codes were evaluated by provider type. Changes in code utilization were compared between physicians and APPs over time. Results: From 2012 to 2017, there was a 51% increase in the number of otolaryngology APPs, compared to a 2.2% increase in physician providers. APPs increased their share of new and established patient visits from 4% to 7%d 11% to 15%, respectively. There was not a significant difference over time in number of patient visits performed annually per provider according to provider type. The increase in number of APP vs physician providers was significantly greater for every procedure except for balloon sinus dilation and tympanostomy tube placement. Conclusion: Due to increasing numbers, APPs are accounting for more patient visits and procedures over time. The physician workforce and the numbers of procedures performed per physician have remained relatively stable from 2012 to 2017. Increasing complexity of patients seen and a broader range of procedures offered by work-experienced or postgraduate-trained APPs may further improve access to health care in the face of possible physician shortages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • endoscopy
  • laryngoscopy
  • nurse practitioner
  • otolaryngology workforce
  • otoscopy
  • outpatient procedure
  • physician assistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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