To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Disruptive innovation in rural American healthcare: the physician assistant practice

Eric R. Kushins (Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Henry Heard (College of Health Professionals, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
J. Michael Weber (Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This article proposes a new disruptive innovation in healthcare through the development of a physician assistant business model, which can be most readily applied in vulnerable rural health care settings.

Design/methodology/approach

This study reviews the current state of the health care system in terms of physician assistant utilization and primary care shortages in rural communities. The study proposes that the physician assistant-owned and -operated primary care business represents a disruptive innovation, via the application of the five principles of Clayton Christensen’s (1997) thesis on disruptive innovation.

Findings

Considering the current state of the health care industry, the study logically defends the proposed model as a disruptive innovation in that it: focuses on an underserved market, has lower costs, has few competitors, offers high quality and provides a sustainable competitive advantage.

Practical implications

The physician assistant business model is a viable solution for providing primary care for rural communities with educational, financial, transportation and other resource limitations.

Originality/value

This is a unique application of the theory of disruptive innovation, which illustrates how a new business model can solve a chronic shortage in primary care, especially in underserved populations.

Keywords

Citation

Kushins, E.R., Heard, H. and Weber, J.M. (2017), "Disruptive innovation in rural American healthcare: the physician assistant practice", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 165-182. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-10-2016-0056

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited