Mueller to address physician assistants’ role in solving rural health care challenges

Published on September 9, 2014

Keith Mueller
Keith Mueller

Keith Mueller, professor and head of health management and policy, will speak on “The Enhanced Role of Primary Care in a Transformed Health Care System,” at a national conference in Omaha, Neb., on Sept. 11-12. Six Midwestern universities, including the University of Iowa, are sponsoring the conference, “Advancing Rural Primary Care,” which explores the role of physician assistants in the changing world of health care.

Mueller’s presentation will describe market forces that are driving reorganizations of systems of care to emphasize primary care as a building block for better care of individual patients and the beginning point for improving population health. In rural health care delivery, those roles are likely to fall heavily on physician assistants as the primary care providers in the thousands of rural health clinics that dot the landscape.

“National policy will need to encourage more entry of health professionals into primary care practices,” says Mueller. “That approach will require integrating all primary care providers, including physician assistants, into integrated health care organizations focused on preventing onset of chronic conditions and management of patient care when multiple chronic conditions are involved.”