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Table 1 Comparison of 2010 VHA primary care encounter a characteristics by provider type

From: Characteristics of primary care office visits to nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians in United States Veterans Health Administration facilities, 2005 to 2010:a retrospective cross-sectional analysis

  Physician Physician assistant Nurse practitioner
Mean age (years) 63 61 62
Male (%) 93 93 90
Race or ethnicity (%)    
 Non-Hispanic white 58 61 58
 Non-Hispanic black 14 13 14
 Hispanic 6 3 4
 Asian 1 1 1
 American Indian 1 1 1
 Unknown 21 21 22
Purpose of visit (%)    
 Scheduled clinic visit 92 86 90
 Unscheduled visit 4 5 5
 Physical examination to determine compensation and pension eligibility 3 8 5
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes (%)    
 Evaluation and management, established patient 76 71 72
 Evaluation and management, new patient 5 6 5
 Immunization 7 6 6
 Disability evaluation 3 8 5
 Lifestyle counselling 2 1 2
 Preventive medicine 1 2 1
 Missing and other 6 6 8
Mean diagnostic cost group scoresb (s.d.) 0.89 (0.891) 0.82 (0.824) 0.84 (0.821)
  1. a Only visits to physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants were included.
  2. b DCG = diagnostic cost group, a comorbidity measure based on age, sex, and diagnoses over a one-year time period. Scores are standardized so that a value of one is the score of a typical Medicare patient.