Legislation Authorizing PAs to Provide Treatment to Federal Workers Injured on the Job Reintroduced in 118th Congress

AAPA Continues to Advocate for Passage of Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act

January 31, 2023

By Tate Heuer, Vice President, Federal Advocacy

Last year, the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act passed the House of Representatives on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote during the 117th Congress. Although the bill didn’t make it across the finish line before the close of the Congress, AAPA and our Congressional champions have continued to increase support for the legislation and worked with the bill’s Congressional sponsors on its recent reintroduction in the new 118th Congress.

Under current policy, federal employees are unable to receive treatment from PAs and NPs for care provided through federal workers’ compensation (FECA) following injuries sustained on the job. This overly burdensome and outdated restriction has no basis in best medical practices, increases costs unnecessarily, and limits access to healthcare for federal employees.

For many years, AAPA and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners have worked together with Congressional champions to correct this unreasonable restriction.

On January 30, the H.R. 618 was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI-05) and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-02). The Senate companion bill, S. 131, was also introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

AAPA President and Chair of the Board Jennifer M. Orozco, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, commended the sponsors in a press release issued by the sponsors following the bill’s introduction.

“On behalf of our country’s more than 159,000 PAs, the American Academy of Physician Associates thanks Representatives Tim Walberg and Joe Courtney and Senators Sherrod Brown and Susan Collins for their dedication and commitment to improving healthcare access for federal employees. The Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act would expand access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare delivered by PAs and will ensure PAs are recognized under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program to diagnose medical conditions, certify injury and extent of disability, and oversee patient treatment and care. The current law excludes PAs from this program and creates an outdated, overly burdensome barrier that reduces access to care for approximately 2 million federal employees,” Orozco, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, said.

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