Brookings, AEI Report Finds Many States Place Unnecessary Restrictions on Healthcare Professionals

Authors Say Politics, Not Patient Safety Often Shape Policy

October 31, 2019

By Jenni Roberson

PA talking and showing another person papers

A recent American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Brookings joint report, A New Vision for Health Reform, included an observation that Optimal Team Practice proponents have long asserted – “scope of practice restrictions often unnecessarily prevent health care professionals from practicing to the top of their license.”

Citing a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projection that national health spending will reach nearly $6 trillion by 2027, the study authors – Joseph Antos of AEI and the late Alice Rivlin of Brookings –  outline policies to curtail healthcare spending without impacting accessibility and effectiveness of care by building on the existing healthcare system.

The report includes points that underscore the need to maximize competition and consumer choice, noting, “state-based provider licensure plays an important role in ensuring safe care delivery, but certain practices also inhibit competition.”

The authors also point to fact that healthcare providers, such as PAs, should not face unjustified, burdensome restrictions, writing, “State restrictions often result from politics rather than risks of patient harm. States should amend their criteria such that the only justification for restricting scope of practice is the safety of the public.”

State laws that dictate how healthcare professionals work together to provide quality care don’t align with how care is delivered to patients today. As AAPA continues to champion pro-PA policies in states across the country and on the federal level, we applaud Brookings and AEI for their extensive research and for highlighting the importance of ensuring laws do not hinder healthcare providers such as PAs from practicing at the top of their training and experience.

Additional Resources
Articles and Reports on the PA Profession Selected Topics
PAs in Rural Locations Ready to Meet Primary Care Needs
Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition: Statements Relevant to the PA Profession