Certified Physician Assistants Increase Access to Care for Large Number of Bilingual and Medicaid/Medicare Patients

The significant findings point out that:

  • Nationally, over 50 percent of patients seen by PAs are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. PAs in Vermont have the highest percentage of Medicaid/Medicare patients—60 percent.
  • Over 22 percent of PAs communicate with their patients in a language other than English. States with the highest percentages of bilingual PAs include: California—52 percent, New Mexico—39 percent and Texas—37 percent.
  • New Mexico has the greatest percentage of ethnically diverse PAs with 19.2 percent identifying as Hispanic. California has the greatest percentage of racially diverse PAs with almost one-third choosing a race other than white.
  • The median salary of all PAs is $95,000 and the median educational debt is $112,500. PAs in Alaska have the highest salaries.

“This eye opening report highlights the significant and positive changes that certified PAs bring to the health care delivery system, including increasing access to quality care for at-risk populations,” says Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D, PA-C, president and CEO of NCCPA. “These data points amplify the need for serious attention to the issue of racial and ethnic diversity within the PA profession and we hope to shine a light on these issues and the need for change.”

Statistics were collected from 89 percent of certified PAs through NCCPA’s PA Profile. You can view each state’s profile in thecomplete report.

About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organization for physician assistants (PAs) in the United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification, certification maintenance and recertification requirements. There are more than 108,500 certified PAs in the U.S. today.


Ragan Cohn, 678.417.8685
VP, Governance and Communications

[email protected]