Wisconsin Enacts Long-Awaited PA Practice Act Updates

Law Creates PA Affiliated Credentialing Board

March 31, 2021

On March 26, Wisconsin PAs celebrated the enactment of long-awaited updates to their state’s PA practice act when Governor Tony Evers signed Act 23 into law. This legislation, which is the product of over five years of diligent work by the Wisconsin Academy of PAs (WAPA) will:

  • Create a PA Affiliated Credentialing Board that is responsible for PA licensure, discipline, and rulemaking – a key tenet of Optimal Team Practice;
  • Replace references to “supervision” with “collaboration”;
  • Allow PAs to either enter into a written collaboration agreement with a physician or provide evidence to the PA Board that, pursuant to the PA’s employment, the PA will be practicing in collaboration with a physician;
  • Remove references to physician responsibility for care provided by a PA; and
  • Give Wisconsin its final two Key Elements of a Modern PA Practice Act by removing the PA-physician ratio limit and allowing scope of practice to be determined at the practice site.

Act 23 had made significant headway in 2020 but was indefinitely postponed due to a disruption in legislative operations during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, when the 2021 session convened, the groundwork laid by WAPA and its lobbying team in the prior year allowed Act 23 to quickly pass by unanimous votes in both the General Assembly and Senate.

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WAPA worked with the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society, and numerous health systems and other employers in crafting Act 23. AAPA assisted WAPA by providing research, drafting, grassroots, and communications assistance as well as multi-year grant funding.

Act 23 becomes effective one year after publication (March 27, 2021), and the repeal of current rules will occur in April 2022. For additional information on Act 23, the full version of the bill is available here.

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