SDAPA’s Priority Bill Advances After Passage in South Dakota Senate Committee

AAPA President Jennifer Orozco Testifies in Support of South Dakota OTP Legislation

February 9, 2022

Today, S.B. 134, which would modernize PA practice, passed out of the South Dakota Senate Health & Human Services Committee. This legislation has been a priority for the South Dakota Academy of PAs (SDAPA) and will increase access to care for South Dakotans.

S.B. 134 would allow PAs with more than 1,040 hours of post-graduation clinical practice experience to practice without a specific agreement with a physician. PAs with fewer than 1,040 hours would be required to collaborate with a physician or a PA with more than 4,000 hours of practice experience. The bill also includes a provision authorizing direct pay for PAs, removes the PA-physician ratio limit, and makes PAs responsible for the care they provide.

AAPA President and Chair of the Board Jennifer M. Orozco, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA, testified before the committee in strong support of the bill. “This important legislation would eliminate outdated administrative burdens and allow PAs to practice to the full extent of their education, training, and experience,” Orozco stated in her testimony.

“Now more than ever, patients need access to qualified healthcare providers. PAs stand ready to support South Dakota patients, and this important bill will allow them to do just that,” her comments continued. Read the full testimony.

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The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) also submitted written testimony in support of S.B. 134, to “clarify the Association’s position on Optimal Team Practice for practicing PAs in response to recent mischaracterizations by the South Dakota State Medical Association (SDSMA).” PAEA’s continued support of Optimal Team Practice (OTP) legislation is vital to demonstrating PAs are unified in their mission to provide high-quality care to patients.

S.B. 134 is the product of three years of work by SDAPA and AAPA. During this time, AAPA and SDAPA have partnered on legislative drafting, research, and grassroots outreach efforts to increase support for full OTP in the state.

The bill, which passed with a vote of 4 to 3, will now move to the Senate floor.

On behalf of the PA profession, AAPA extends its gratitude to S.B. 134’s lead Senate sponsor, Senator Erin Tobin (R-21), a nurse practitioner, for her efforts to increase access to care. Go to AAPA’s Advocacy Central to learn more about how you can support state advocacy efforts.


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