Vermont Governor Signs Act Modernizing PA Practice

New Law Authorizes PAs to be Eligible for Direct Payment

July 6, 2020

On July 1, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed S.128, an act related to physician assistant licensure, into law. The legislation was the result of years of hard work by the PA Academy of Vermont (PAAV) and significantly improves PA practice in Vermont.

Among the many changes, the new law:

  • Removes the term “supervision;”
  • Uses “collaboration” to describe PA practice;
  • Makes PAs responsible for the care they provide;
  • Authorizes PAs to be eligible for direct payment (one of the pillars of Optimal Team Practice);
  • Defines PA scope of practice based on the PA’s education, training, and experience; and
  • Streamlines the practice agreement process and requirements.

“This is a monumental victory for PAs and the patients we care for in Vermont,” said PAAV President Christine O’Neill, PA-C. “PAAV worked tirelessly over the last several years to engage and collaborate with key stakeholders to assure that unnecessary barriers to PA licensure and practice were removed through this legislation.”

Throughout this process, PAAV worked closely with the Vermont Medical Society and made numerous presentations to the Board of Medical Practice on the necessity for these changes. These efforts paid off as both were major supporters in committee hearings. The Academy supported the effort by working with PAAV to draft legislation and provide supporting research and documentation. PAAV also received OTP grant funding to achieve this victory.

The new law is effective as of July 1. For more information on S.128, or PA practice in Vermont in general, contact Carson Walker, director, state advocacy and outreach.