A New Training Model is Poised to Redefine Continuing Medical Education

Ensuring strong medical skills and identification of diseases - especially life-threatening conditions - is a top concern for all participants in the United States healthcare system. We sat down recently with Dr. Robert Beatty, Chief Executive Officer of Provider Practice Essentials, to discuss his company’s unique approach to help equip advanced practice providers with the skills to identify and manage higher acuity.   

Healthcare in the United States is rapidly evolving, and along with it, so are the needs of patients who seek medical care. 2019 has brought a tremendous uncertainty to everyone involved in healthcare delivery. As the potential reversal of the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare - is set to be challenged in court, hospitals and healthcare providers are finding ways to continue to deliver care to a higher volume of patients while eyeing their financial wellbeing more than ever before. 

One of the ways healthcare has drastically changed is with the increased use of advanced practice providers to fill the needs for patient care. Higher volumes of patients, older ages of patients, and a looming physician shortage have set the stage for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to assume a greater presence in the frontline delivery of healthcare. While their training and roles differ from traditional medicine, their impact to healthcare as part of a team is being felt on both sides of the patient bed, bringing a tale of both improved delivery and great caution. 

Ensuring strong medical skills and identification of diseases - especially life-threatening conditions - is a top concern for all participants in the United States healthcare system. We sat down recently with Dr. Robert Beatty, Chief Executive Officer of Provider Practice Essentials, to discuss his company’s unique approach to help equip advanced practice providers with the skills to identify and manage higher acuity. 

It sounds like you have been pretty busy lately. Tell me about Provider Practice Essentials. 

"Thanks... it has been a very busy year. Having served as an emergency department chairman for over 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in healthcare, some good and some bad. Our company was formed to help create a platform for advanced practice providers to concentrate on the critical components of their practice and take some of the fear and doubt away from their practice. When that is removed, their minds have more time to process the other aspects of their practice more efficiently."

How do you mean?

"Healthcare today is much more than simply examining patients, ordering tests, and giving results. Documentation is more complex, insurance guidelines are more stringent, and it’s very easy to get lost in the mix and miss what may be right in front of you, and potentially lethal. By teaching the identification and management of common life-threatening illnesses, and the procedures to fix them, we are giving advanced practice providers in all disciplines the ability to recognize and treat high acuity patients."

Aren’t advanced practice providers able to do this anyway?

"Of course! They are all taught these basic concepts in their training, but depending on where their practice has gone, what field they practice in, and whether they are exposed to sick patients on a regular basis, they may not utilize these skills, and may not be familiar with current management. Also, as their demand to see more patients increases, they will be expected to diagnose more conditions that they never imagined would be in their scope of practice."

Is it common to see very sick patients outside of a hospital?

"It is becoming more common, especially as insurance companies are beginning to refuse patients reimbursement for going to the emergency department. Compound that with the aging baby boomer generation, their advanced age-related diseases, and pushback from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for their care unless they are hospitalized, and patients are becoming lost in regards to where they need to go, often presenting with severe acute illnesses in offices not equipped to care for them."

How often do people go to the emergency department?

"These days very frequently. People seek emergency care for a host of reasons, some of which may or may not be necessary. I practice emergency medicine and know that the average person can have a hard time differentiating between a benign condition and a serious illness. I also see low acuity patients discharged on a regular basis from the department. It is not an exact science."


Why are insurance companies telling people to stay away from the ER?

"Because emergency care is expensive, and emergency specialty training is focused on identifying life-threatening conditions, which can mean more testing than would be performed by a primary care doctor’s office. We often perform 4-6 weeks of outpatient lab and radiology in a couple of hours. There is a significant cost involved, especially when patients are found to have no emergency diagnosis."

That makes sense. So where do insurers expect these people to go?

"Urgent Care and Primary Care Centers are going to shoulder the burden of insured patients that may have gone to the ER for routine care. Uninsured patients are often caught in a dilemma of not having insurance and needing primary care, but having nowhere to go. They may end up in a public clinic or back in the ER."

Will they get the same care?

"We can only hope so. If patients are deflected to non-emergency settings and are found to have emergencies there, it could delay their treatment and potentially cause more harm. The more patients that have to decide whether they have an emergency on their own, the more risk there is they they may be wrong. Basically, it’s likely that sicker patients will end up seeking care outside of the emergency department. Provider Practice Essentials reinforces this concept and addresses common conditions that should never be missed." 

How do you do this?

"We created a community focused on delivering evidence-based solutions to common clinical problems in practice. We deliver our live content over a two-day conference focused on life threatening cardiac, pulmonary, extremity, chest, and skin disorders. This allows practitioners to concentrate on the core life-threatening content taught by our expert faculty. And they get hands-on procedures to coincide with the medical content we teach." 

You teach all of that in two days?

"The no miss items- yes. We also have an extensive web-based resource section, educational videos, clinical content, and links to other resources that make managing these conditions easier. Our providers frequently use these resources for their practice and the feedback has been tremendous. "


It sounds like you teach a lot!

"We love to teach. We have 22 faculty members dedicated to two cities - Orlando and Dallas - and we have students from all over the country. It has become a huge success and we are humbled by the impact we are having on patients nationwide." 

How did you come up with this idea?

"My wife completed her dual board certification as a nurse practitioner and didn’t feel she was ready to practice. Since her education only required occasional on-campus visits and most didactic training was online. This led to her relying on her only hands-on training being during her clinical rotations where she often competed with several other students to see patients. She wanted to feel more comfortable transitioning to practice. After asking her colleagues, hearing similar feedback, and doing extensive research, we realized this is a critical area of need and started our company." 

Sounds like a great motivator. Do you have any formal accreditation to teach this course?

"Yes- we are accredited by both the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the American Association of Nurse Practitoners (AANP). "

Are there similar courses out there that also do this?

"There are many opportunities available to earn continuing medical education, but we are confident that none will match our model and the passion behind it. All of our courses are led by a physician and Advanced Practice Provider team. Finding a two or even three-day class is easy, but finding a lifelong resource you can trust and be a part of is not something most people expect when they become members of our community." 

When you refer to community, what do you mean?

"Everyone who signs up for our program and completes our two day course is also given membership for one year in our community. This allows full immersion in our clinical resources, access to regularly updated content and material, and members only opportunities such as additional CME." 

Wow. What are your long term plans with this company? 

"People learn differently today than they did just 5 years ago. While virtual education, web-based training, and technology have brought the classroom closer than ever before, there is still a need for individual education in a small class-type setting. I see us maintaining our core values of providing quality, focused education and serving as a resource to the next generation of our healthcare system. We are determined to remain up to date and incorporate as much technology into our platform as possible, but only to enhance the educational experience of our providers." 

How do you see your company, Provider Practice Essentials, improving healthcare in our country?

"Clinical knowledge and it’s application are at a crossroads and I believe that our ability reach out and connect with advanced practice providers, who will work in any practice setting, will have an improved ability to consider the worst case scenario first, and in doing so bring value and accuracy to their patient care. We are a small component of healthcare, but our message is huge!"


Provider Practice Essentials has an ongoing monthly program in Orlando, Florida, and also offers a program every other month in Dallas, Texas. They can be found at www.ppemedical.com.

For more information on this press release visit: 

Media Contact:
Company Name:
 Provider Practice Essentials
Contact Person: Dr. Rob Beatty
Email: Support@PPEMedical.com
Phone: (321) 506-9303
Country: United States
Website: ppemedical.com

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