Iowa, Minnesota Legislation Strengthening PA Practice Signed into Law

AAPA Applauds IPAS, MAPA For Successful Efforts to Enhance Patient Care

June 17, 2022

PAs in Iowa and Minnesota celebrated the signing of two bills that make numerous changes to their states’ PA practice laws. AAPA congratulates the Iowa Physician Assistant Society (IPAS) and Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA) for their efforts to successfully secure updates to statutes that will strengthen PA practice and enhance patient care.

On May 17, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed H.F. 803, which was introduced in 2021. The new law, which becomes effective on July 1, 2022, will make several changes to Iowa statutes that are positive for PAs.

Specifically, the law will:

  • update provisions related to hospice to reflect recent federal action, allowing PAs better ability to provide this care to their patients
  • fully enumerate PAs in laws related to end-of-life decisions
  • add PAs with specified experience to certain provisions related to mental health
  • include PAs among other practitioners for purposes of treating patients within the adult and juvenile justice systems
  • authorize PAs to perform routine qualification exams (e.g., for childcare providers, school bus drivers, recipients of state benefits, for patients requiring certain devices, and for certain athletes)
  • ensure PA representation on panels and programs related to public health including the Domestic Abuse Death Review Team and HIV partner notification program

On May 20, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed H.F. 3989, a bill that sought to ensure PAs are enumerated in statutes where they should be included. The new law becomes effective on August 1, 2022.

H.F. 3989 made numerous changes to law; notable changes include adding:

  • PAs as attending providers for the purposes of hospice laws (consistent with recently changed federal law)
  • services provided by PAs to the list of services that can be provided by an assisted living service
  • PAs to the list of providers who may determine pregnancy for the purposes of statutes relating to maternal and child health
  • PAs to the list of providers who may diagnose a patient as in a terminal condition for the purposes of administering, withholding, or withdrawing medical treatment in reliance on a patient’s living will
  • PAs to the list of providers who may determine that a patient lacks decision-making capacity for the purposes of carrying out a health care directive
  • PAs to the list of providers who may refer a patient for occupational therapy
  • PAs to the list of providers who may dispense drugs in certain cases (health professional shortage areas) where pharmacy access is scarce
  • PAs to the list of providers who may serve as medical director for detoxification/withdrawal management programs
  • PAs to the list of providers who may order prosthetic and orthotic devices for the purposes of Medicaid
  • PAs to the definitions of “qualified professional” for the purposes of mental health and substance use disorder for the purposes of public welfare programs

AAPA assisted IPAS and MAPA with legislative drafting, research, and grassroots support. For more information on H.F. 803 and H.F. 3989, contact AAPA Director, State Advocacy and Outreach Erika Miller, JD.

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