Medicare in Elko County Work Group

Working on Better Access to Primary Care Doctors
for Elko County Seniors using Medicare and Medicaid


Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants are Good Sources of Primary Health Care

Medicare patients need to have a primary care provider, someone who can follow them for most of their medical issues over years and coordinate specialty care and referrals if needed.
Possible providers include physicians like Internists and Family Practitioners but also Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA), both of whom can be highly trained experts in their fields.  The differences are mainly in minimum years of training:

Physicians: 4 years college + 4 years medical school +
3 years residency
Nurse Practitioners : 1-4 years college + 2 years RN + 2 years NP
program(can practice independently in Nevada)
Physician’s Assistants:  1-4 years college + 2 years PA school
(need to work under supervision of a physician).

An experienced Physician’s Assistant specializing in medicine can provide superb general or specialty care serving 90% of the needs of most Medicare patients.  The key is their experience, commitment, and continued growth after training, the same as with Nurse Practitioners and Physicians.