PAs in Kentucky Celebrate the Closing of the Great Divide Between Their State and All Other PA Practice Jurisdictions

Kentucky the Last State to Finally Authorize PA Prescribing of Controlled Medications

March 28, 2020

A major victory has been achieved for PAs and their patients in Kentucky, which also marks a monumental milestone in the history of the profession: the enactment of HB 135, which was signed into law on Friday, March 27, will finally authorize PAs in the state to prescribe controlled medications, specifically Schedule III-V controlled substances.

The Kentucky Academy of PAs (KAPA) strongly advocated for the legislation which passed the Kentucky legislature on Thursday, March 19. With this legislation, Kentucky joins 49 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing PAs to prescribe controlled medications.

PA authority to prescribe controlled medications enables more effective practice by the entire team. PAs are most effective when they can adequately provide care, including analgesia and the treatment of patients with acute pain. Allowing PAs to prescribe controlled medications improves access and efficiency and decreases unnecessary emergency department use and return office visits.

KAPA will be providing a step-by-step process in the coming weeks regarding what PAs should do if they would like to incorporate controlled prescribing a part of their practice on their website for KAPA members.

“During this time, our state needs to empower all healthcare providers to do everything they can for patients and keep healthcare teams working together as efficiently as possible. Giving PAs the authorization to prescribe Schedule III-V controlled medications updates Kentucky’s laws to be more consistent with PA prescriptive authority in other states and removes an outdated, unnecessary barrier to patient care,” KAPA President Laurie Garner, Ph.D., PA-C, said.

AAPA has historically supported KAPA’s legislative efforts on this issue in many diverse ways from providing advocacy grant funding to the creation of advocacy resources and the development of stakeholder strategies.

For more information on this legislation or PA practice in Kentucky, contact Stephanie Radix, senior director, state advocacy and outreach.

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