PAs Included in New Telemedicine Guidelines in Washington State

Oct. 23, 2014

By Keisha Pitts, JD

On Oct. 3, the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) adopted guidelines for the appropriate use of telemedicine that include PAs.

The new guidelines define “practitioner” to include PAs and physicians regulated by the state’s allopathic board and emphasize how the use of telemedicine increases access to healthcare.

Under the guidelines, a history and evaluation of the patient must precede the rendering of any care, including prescriptions. Informed consent should include a statement that the parties both deem telemedicine appropriate for the circumstances.

In circumstances that require in-person contact, the practitioner may use a surrogate examiner acceptable to the practitioner and the patient or may advise the patient to be seen by a practitioner in person.

The guidelines also clarify that telemedicine is a tool in medical practice, not a separate form of medicine.

For more information, please contact Keisha Pitts, AAPA director of constituent organization outreach and advocacy (COOA), at [email protected].