Kidney disease education: A niche for PAs and NPs

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This study evaluated the number of Stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) education classes taught by physician assistants (PAs) and NPs.


Descriptive analysis of data from the CMS Public Use File were calculated for 2010-2011 kidney disease education classes with particular focus on PAs and NPs.


In 2010, 4,580 individual and 1,612 group classes were held; one-third of individual classes and two-thirds of group classes were taught by PAs and NPs. In 2011, with a 32% increase in classes, the percentages of PA and NP instructors stayed the same. PAs and NPs predominantly teach home classes, group classes, and outpatient hospital classes.


Less than 7% of eligible patients were offered education classes in 2010-2011. An examination of Medicare billing data shows PAs and NPs are underused in patient education, an area in which they are uniquely qualified.

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