Pennsylvania Governor Signs Law Giving PAs Prominent Role in Regulation of the Profession

PSPA Says New Law Could Help State Retain PA Program Graduates

October 8, 2021

On Oct. 7, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bills 397 and 398, the top legislative priority for the Pennsylvania Society of PAs (PSPA). The bills create a permanent PA seat on the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and the Pennsylvania Board of Osteopathic Medicine, one of the pillars of Optimal Team Practice (OTP). Previously, PAs had to share a rotating seat with other professions. This gives PAs in Pennsylvania a more prominent role in the regulation of the profession.

The legislation also improves PA practice in Pennsylvania by:

  • Reducing countersignature from 100% for all PAs, to only the first year of PA practice and/or the first year of practice in a new specialty;
  • Removing the physical onsite requirement for physicians;
  • Increasing the PA to physician ratio from 4:1 to 6:1; and
  • Eliminating the requirement that the boards approve all written agreements.

Agreements will now be filed with the boards, and the PA will be able to begin practice immediately, without the delays and potential interruptions in work that were prevalent in the old system.

This victory is the result of years of hard work and determination.

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“PSPA has been working on achieving these improvements for PAs and their patients in Pennsylvania for many years,” PSPA President Jackie Lageman Borst, PA-C said. “We hope that these changes will keep more Pennsylvania PA program graduates here in Pennsylvania to care for Pennsylvanians.”

AAPA provided PSPA support throughout the process, including drafting and reviewing legislative language, conducting research, sending out advocacy alerts, and awarding OTP grant funding.

The new law became effective upon signing. For additional information on SB 397 and SB 398, a summary of the bills is available on the PSPA website action center.

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