Social Security Administration recognizes PAs as an acceptable medical source

On January 18, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published a revision to its rules regarding the evaluation of medical evidence, which included a change that will allow PAs to serve as an Acceptable Medical Source (AMS), an issue that AAPA has advocated for aggressively for several years. The SSA’s final rule updates which healthcare professionals can serve as an AMS and how the agency considers and articulates medical opinions.

In its comments to SSA on Nov 8, 2016, AAPA wrote, “There is no rational reason to exclude PAs from being included in SSA’s updated AMS list. PAs are highly-educated and qualified healthcare practitioners, and they are already being used in a similar capacity in other areas within the federal government.”

The SSA’s final rule states that it “agree[s] that health care delivery continues to change and that PAs have an important and growing role as primary and specialty health care providers in many different health care settings”, and, as such, will recognize PAs as Acceptable Medical Sources for disability claims filed on or after March 27, 2017.