The Doctor is Not In-Ensuring Collaboration Between Advanced Practice Providers and SLPs

With the advent of the Accountable Care Era, more individuals who were  previously uninsured now have access to healthcare coverage. The increase  in patients who need a medical home, paired with the growing shortage  of primary care physicians in the United States (“Health Resources,” 2013;  Herrick, 2010; Wong, 2012), have resulted in an increased demand for  advanced practice providers (APP), including both physician assistants  and nurse practitioners (Gamble, 2013b).

To address the critical need for early identification of developmental  disorders, the American Academy of Pediatrics (2006) recommends that  primary care providers complete developmental surveillance and screening on children, birth to 3 years of age. Advanced practice providers are in a key position to assess speech, language, and cognitive development of these young children (Scheffler et al., 2007), and the collaborative support of SLPs  is essential to ensure appropriate and timely referrals from all providers.  Understanding the dynamics of the relationship between the providers  and the SLP will be essential to facilitate opportunities for interprofessional  education and collaboration to maximize patient outcomes (McNeilly, 2013).

With the current and expected shortage of primary care physicians, advanced practice providers are routinely expected to assess speech/language development in children, Kids Health First and University of Georgia, Department of Communication Disorders joined together to study the expanded role of advanced practice providers and the ways that  Speech-Language Pathologists can collaborate with advanced practice providers to ensure  appropriate and timely referrals and follow-up

This poster presentation was presented at the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s annual convention in November, 2015 in Denver, CO. Read more to learn about this study and the results obtained.