California Gains Fifth Key Element, Increases Practice Parity

SB 697 is Major Victory for PAs in California

October 11, 2019

On Oct. 9, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 697 that repeals state law requirements for chart review or counter signature for PAs allowing these determinations to be made at the practice level.  The bill achieves parity with other healthcare professions in the state and was the California Academy of PAs’ legislative priority this year.

SB 697 also makes the following changes and improvements:

  • Clarifies PAs work with physicians to provide quality care and do not practice under delegation
  • Repeals all references to delegation
  • Allows for collaborative development of the practice agreement by physicians and PAs
  • Allows the agreement to grant approval for physicians on staff to supervise PAs within an organized healthcare system
  • Repeals requirement to adopt protocols and formularies
  • Repeals requirement for the medical record for each episode of care to identify the physician responsible for supervising the PA
  • Repeals language designating PAs as agents of physicians, unless desired within the practice
  • Repeals requirement for physician contact info on PA prescriptions
  • Reduces administrative burden by allowing a practice agreement to be signed by a physician that is authorized to approve the agreement on behalf of physician staff of an organized healthcare system
  • Revises prescribing language consistent with other healthcare providers including clarifying PAs furnish or order drugs and devices pursuant to a practice agreement if specific requirements are met

“SB 697 greatly improves the practice environment for PAs in California by achieving parity with healthcare professionals that provide much of the same care as PAs,” said Roy Guizado, PA-C, president of the California Academy of PAs (CAPA). “CAPA is excited to see the removal of unnecessary requirements and outdated language describing PA practice.” CAPA worked closely with AAPA on this legislative effort and AAPA is pleased with numerous improvements in the bill. The becomes effective Jan. 1, 2020.

For more information, contact Keisha Pitts, JD, director of state advocacy and outreach, at [email protected]