State Chapters Celebrate Banner 2017 for Statutory and Regulatory Improvements

Improvements Seen in all 50 States and DC

PA state chapters enjoyed a successful 2017, full of positive PA improvements to state laws and regulations. All 50 states and the District of Columbia made more than 100 statutory and nearly 50 regulatory improvements to state laws and rules that govern PA practice. From provisions on Air Ambulances to Worker’s compensation, improvements to PA practice laws and regulations were seen in nearly 70 different categories. Among the numerous wins:

  • More than 20 authorize PAs to certify health statuses and sign forms.
  • Nine improve PA ability to care for patients with psychiatric diagnoses.
  • Seven include PAs on state health policy task forces or committees.
  • Six enhance PA ability to participate in addiction treatment.
  • Five authorize PAs to sign death certificates.
  • Five improve PA prescriptive authority.
  • Four include PAs as telehealth providers.
  • Four expand the ability of PAs to authorize the use of naloxone.
  • Four streamline PA licensure.
  • Three extend rural provider incentives to PAs.
  • Three authorize PAs to clear athletes to return to play after concussions.
  • Two expand the execution of medical orders for life-sustaining treatment to PAs.

States also continued to make strides in achieving the Academy’s 6 Key Elements of a Modern PA Practice Act. Arkansas eliminated its requirement that a physician be within an hour of the practice location while a PA is delivering patient care, Mississippi eliminated its ratio restriction, and Oklahoma allowed for co-signature to be determined at the practice level. To date, seven states have achieved all six elements.

The year also saw multiple states enact bills that push the profession forward. Illinois, New Mexico, and West Virginia replaced “supervision” as the term used to describe how PAs and physicians work together with the more-accurate term “collaboration.” New Mexico also repealed regulatory language that holds physicians responsible for PA-provided care for physicians who collaborate with PAs. Montana and West Virginia eliminated the requirement of current certification for license renewal, while Illinois clarified that current certification is not required for license renewal. Outside of laws and regulations, the PA profession had a major win when Oklahoma became the first state to offer the uniform application for PA licensure.

With 2018 state-legislative sessions starting now, the Academy continues to work closely with state chapters on a variety of major advocacy initiatives, including bills to enact recent changes to the Guidelines for State Regulation of PAs to implement Optimal Team Practice. By working together, AAPA and state chapters can continue to move the profession forward.

For more information, contact a member of AAPA’s Constituent Organization Outreach and Advocacy team.