What is APC in Healthcare?

In healthcare, APC stands for advanced practice clinician or ambulatory payment classification.

What is an Advanced Practice Clinician (APC)?

Advanced practice clinicians include advanced practice registered nurses as well as physician assistants (PAs), although generally, APC refers to nurse practitioners (NPs) & physician assistants (PAs).

An APC, or APP, is a healthcare provider who has had advanced training at the graduate level. In order to provide healthcare for patients  & function as a provider, they must pass a national board examination for the state in which they will be providing care. 

In some health systems and practices, APP (advanced practice provider) is used in place of APC. 

If a physician is unavailable to see one of his/her patients due to a booked schedule, sometimes an APC visit is available. Patients may be more accepting of seeing an APC when they learn the nurse practitioner or physician assistant is more readily available to them than the physician.

Benefits of an Advanced Practice Clinician

In some cases, patients may agree that APCs take more time educating them,  addressing their concerns & needs, listening more attentively & assuring the patient understands the next steps regarding their care & essentially getting to the root of their health issues. 

In addition, often in a medical practice, you can get an appointment much sooner if you’re scheduling with an APC. 

While patients realize these care providers are more readily available to them in some physician practices and can get them seen more promptly, it can help reduce physician burnout from patient overload, which can help the office function better as a whole. 

In the APC model, financial incentives are based on the quality of care provided, not reimbursement for procedures. This means there isn’t a reason to rush through as many patients as possible over the course of the day. As a result, a provider typically sees half as many patients in a single day and spends more time with each.

What is an Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC)?

Ambulatory payment classification is a system for billing the federal government for outpatient services provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients.

APC payments are made only to hospitals, and occur when the outpatient is discharged from an emergency department or transferred to another hospital. APC payments cover billable expenses, such as diagnostic testing, surgery, emergency care, and more.

Read more about ambulatory payment classifications here: https://www.acep.org/administration/reimbursement/reimbursement-faqs/apc-ambulatory-payment-classifications-faq

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