Potentially inappropriate medication prescribing by nurse practitioners and physicians

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Background: Potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use is a risk factor for hospitalization and mortality. However, there were few studies focusing on the impact of provider type on PIM use. Objective: We aimed to estimate the initial and refill PIM prescribing rate for physician visits and nurse practitioner (NP) visits and the impact of provider type on PIM prescribing. Research Design: We used 100% Texas Medicare data to define physician visits and NP visits in 2016. The rate of visits with a PIM prescription from the same provider was measured, distinguishing between initial and refill prescription to estimate the PIM rate and adjusted odds ratio (OR) by provider type. Results: There were 24.1 per 1000 visits with a prescription for a PIM: 9.0 per 1000 visits for an initial PIM and 15.1 per 1000 visits for a refill PIM. A visit to an NP was less likely to result in an initial (OR = 0.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70–0.79) or refill (OR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.51–0.57) PIM. The association of lower odds of receiving a prescription for an initial PIM from an NP was substantially stronger among black enrollees than white enrollees (OR = 0.44, 95%CI = 0.30–0.65 for blacks and OR = 0.73, 95%CI = 0.68–0.78 for white enrollees). The association of an NP provider with lower odds of receiving a PIM refill was more pronounced in older patients and in those with more comorbidities. Conclusions: NPs prescribed fewer initial PIMs and were less likely to refill a PIM after an outpatient visit than physicians. The lower odds of receiving PIMs during an NP visit varied by age, race/ethnicity, rurality, and number of comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1916-1924
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • nurse practitioners
  • potentially inappropriate medication
  • quality of prescribing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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