Arkansas PAs Win a Seat on the Medical Board, Clinch Another Legislative Victory for PAs

Governor Signs Bill Modernizing PA Practice in the State

April 14, 2021

Arkansas PAs are celebrating the recent passage of an important bill, S.B. 152. The new law will modernize the PA practice act and enable PAs to actively engage in the regulation of their profession by adding a PA seat to the state medical board.

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On April 12, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed S.B. 152 which will become effective July 1, 2021, and make changes to modernize the PA practice act through a number of provisions. The new law will:

  • Update the statutory language used regarding the PA-physician supervisory relationship agreement from “protocol” to “delegation” as established by the Arkansas Medical Board in 2020.
  • Add a PA seat to the full medical board, providing PAs a voice in their profession and insight into the roles of PAs.
  • Establish prescribing parity with other advanced practice providers by allowing PAs to prescribe schedule II and removing the administrative burden requiring the physician to sign off on every order.
  • Allow PAs to pronounce death.
  • Enable PAs to volunteer in the case of a disaster or emergency, which they were previously restricted from. This was a barrier during the pandemic.

The Arkansas Academy of Physician Assistants (ARAPA) worked hard to make this possible through numerous drafts and lobbying for S.B. 152.  AAPA assisted ARAPA with an advocacy grant, legislative drafting, research, and grassroots support.

For more information on the new laws or on PA practice in Arkansas, contact Shannon Morey, director, state advocacy and outreach at [email protected]

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