American Academy of Physician Assistants

Constituent Organizations News

Access updates from the Constituent Organization Newsletter.
Constituent Organization News
Board approves new Obesity Medicine Special Interest Group

On Saturday, November 5, AAPA's Board of Directors approved the newest constituent organization (CO) - PAs in Obesity Medicine. The new CO is a special interest group (SIG), bringing the total number of SIGs to 20 and the total number of COs to 111. Read More

First Meeting of Joint Task Force on the Future of PA Practice Authority

The Joint Task Force on the Future of PA Practice Authority met October 8th and 9th. Read More

Constituent Organization Outreach and Advocacy Awards

This item gives a brief explanation of the CO Advocacy Awards and links to further information. Read More

Quality Payment Program

Signed into law in April, 2015, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and combined various quality and reporting programs into one: the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Read More

COOA Team Member Updates

As CO Outreach and Advocacy team member Rick Christiansen leaves the COOA team, we are pleased to note that he hasn’t gone far. Rick transitioned full-time to AAPA’s Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management. Yet, COOA is delighted to announce the addition of Brian Dautch, JD to the team. Meet the COOA team with new corresponding responsibilities.   Read More

AAPA Mutual Engagement Benefit Model for Constituent Organizations

Caucus and special interest groups will soon receive 2017 affiliation agreements for signature. Learn more about benefits and resources for COs. Read More

Tips for Increasing Board and Committee Productivity

As a constituent organization (CO) leader, it is hard enough to meet personal and professional responsibilities, let alone those on behalf of the CO. With little time and competing priorities, opportunities for CO engagement are limited – making the investment of time and attention an extremely valuable contribution. A meeting facilitator, whether the CO’s president or a committee chair, must maximize effective and efficient volunteer participation in order to maximize an organization’s resources. The following tips will help leaders get the most out of board and committee meetings. Read More

Brand Your Own CO Career Center

AAPA’s partner, YourMembership, who manages AAPA’s PA JobSource, will now build your career center and integrate it into your website at no cost. This member benefit will attract new members while generating non-dues revenue. Read More

Clinical Case Challenge Series —The Fine Print Can Increase CO Dollars

Changes to the CCCS program are now in effect to increase outcomes data returned to AAPA in a timely manner. COs must fulfill specific outcomes-dependent requirements to earn the full stipend for hosting the CCCS. Read More

50th Anniversary of PA Profession Approaching

Starting this October, PAs will have the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the profession and raise awareness of the contributions PAs make to healthcare today and the positive impact they will have in the future. Read More

New Leadership Year Ahead: Some Assembly Required

July 1 marks the date that AAPA and most constituent organizations (COs) will begin a new leadership year.  Read More

Build Your Best Advocacy Team

Are you planning to improve PA practice in your state by advocating for upgrades to laws and regulations? There is strength in numbers. Think broadly to create support for your initiatives from non-traditional partners. Read More

IRS Announcement Affects COs with Annual Gross Revenue of $50K or Less

The IRS has a new registration and electronic submission process. All organizations submitting the 990-N e-Postcard must initially register with the IRS.  Read More

Membership Overview - State Chapters

A new resource has been added for Constituent Organizations which provides an analysis of AAPA’s constituent state chapters by fellow membership size, fellow membership dues rates, dues based on chapter size and dues based on region. Read More

Does Anti-Competitive Behavior by Regulators Interest the FTC?

An invitation for constituent organization leaders to become familiar with a new tool that can help remove state PA practice barriers. Read More

Check Status of Constituent Organization Officers

A description of a new online feature that allows Constituent Organizations to ensure that the status of their leadership is up to date. Read More

AAPA Develops Mutual Benefit Engagement Model for Constituent Organizations

In support of a revitalized model of constituent organization engagement, AAPA created affiliation agreements with caucuses and special interest groups. To discuss affiliation agreements, contact COOA at Read More

Constituent Organization Election of Delegates

June 17, 2015   Most constituent organization (CO) bylaws include the election procedures for officers. However, AAPA HOD delegates are not always included in this process. As outlined in AAPA bylaws, ArticleVI, Section 2, HOD delegates Read More

Board Approves New Policy to Share Information with Constituent Organizations

A description of new board policies pertaining to sharing AAPA data with Constituent Organizations. Read More

Tips for Your Toolbox

As constituent organizations work within their own healthcare organization networks, they are often called upon to address issues such as cultural competency and disparities in the healthcare workforce. Recognizing this need the AAPA House of Delegates adopted policy in 2001 that states, “AAPA strongly encourages each constituent organization to have a diversity contact/committee.” (BA-2300.3.6) Consider appointing a chapter leader to this position as your CO works with stakeholders to diversify the healthcare workforce and improve patient access to healthcare. Wanting to partner with AAPA on federal advocacy issues? In 2012, AAPA HOD adopted a policy that states “the AAPA recommends that every constituent organization include a federal liaison position on their Government Affairs Committee or comparable body to coordinate national PA legislative efforts.” (BA-2300.3.7) For more information please contact Kristin Butterfield, AAPA director of grassroots advocacy, at Read More

The 15 Most Common Nonprofit Bylaw Pitfalls: How to Avoid the Traps

Read more about the most common bylaw pitfalls, and how to avoid the traps. Read More

Potential Impact of the Sunshine Act on AAPA and Constituent Organization CME Conferences

Under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act Final Rule, called CMS Open Payments, applicable manufacturers are required to report to CMS all payments and transfers of value to physicians beginning August 1, 2013. PAs were not included in the Final Rule as covered recipients and as such are not subject to the reporting requirements. The goal of the Sunshine Act is to increase transparency of transfers of value from industry to physicians that have the potential to create bias. It is not intended to create barriers to participation in accredited CME where standards are in place to ensure independence and fair balance. As a result, CMS issued updated Frequently Asked Questions via their Open Payments website in an attempt to clarify how payments to speakers or meals associated with accredited CME events will be treated. The FAQs include an exemption for CME activities that have been accredited by the ACCME, AMA, AAFP, AOA, or ADA CERP. Likely due to the fact that PAs are not subject to reporting, AAPA was not included in the list of exempted accrediting bodies. However, as AAPA and Constituent Organization CME conferences often include physicians as faculty, this omission of AAPA as an exempted accrediting body means participation by physicians as speakers or attendees will be subject to reporting. This complicated development has prompted many pharmaceutical companies to modify their systems and policies regarding educational grants in order to comply with the new requirements and avoid penalties. While many companies have yet to definitively communicate their new policies, AAPA has received initial communications from several companies that are taking a conservative approach. Pfizer for example has indicated they will not accept educational grant requests for activities not accredited by one of the 5 named accrediting bodies until they have modified their systems to accommodate the reporting requirements, likely by early 2014. While other companies have not indicated they will stop accepting grant requests for activities accredited by organizations like AAPA altogether, we anticipate their concerns regarding the unclear reporting requirements will result in fewer approvals for AAPA accredited activities. Bottom line, for the immediately foreseeable future, this development has the potential to significantly reduce the availability of grant funding for AAPA accredited CME activities. Because AAPA has formally adopted the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support (SCS), we will advocate to CMS that a clarification be made to include AAPA in the list of exempted accrediting bodies. We have also reached out to counterparts in the pharmacy and nursing worlds, who have also formally adopted the ACCME SCS but were not named as exempted accrediting bodies, to understand how they anticipate these developments will impact their organizations and potentially unify our messaging to CMS. While resolution and clarity of this issue may not come for some time, Constituent Organizations may also want to consider the feasibility of pursuing ACCME accreditation through their state medical societies or local ACCME accredited organizations and thus render their conferences exempt from the reporting requirements. AAPA will continue to update you regarding developments on this and other issues that affect CME conference planning. For more details regarding Sunshine Act implementation and its effect on CME, visit the Sunshine Act section of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP) website. Please contact Daniel Pace, Senior Director Education, with any questions. Read More

New AAPA Special Interest Group

March 20, 2015 - On Friday, March 6, the AAPA Board of Directors approved the 19th special interest group by recognizing the Society for Early Career PAs.  Read More

Is It Time for a Constituent Organization Checkup?

The summer months make us think of annual physicals and sports participation certificates for our children. But what about your constituent organization? Is it healthy and ready to participate in strenuous exercise? Perhaps a constituent organization checkup is in order. Read More

Increased Public Scrutiny on ‘Vacation CME’

Increased public scrutiny is being placed on CME in general and “vacation CME” in particular. This scrutiny is rooted in a flawed perception that PAs and other providers may attend CME conferences to vacation as opposed to satisfy certification maintenance requirements. In addition, many pharmaceutical or device companies will no longer support conferences that take place at resorts or other venues viewed as a potential distraction from CME. As healthcare reform accelerates and new laws and regulations such as the Sunshine Act are implemented, increased public scrutiny is being placed on CME in general and “vacation CME” in particular. This scrutiny is rooted in a flawed perception that PAs and other providers may attend CME conferences to vacation as opposed to satisfy certification maintenance requirements. In a recent example of this increased scrutiny, an investigative report out of New York targeted a Las Vegas conference that was accredited for physician CME credit. The report questioned whether attendance at CME sessions was verified prior to awarding CME credit, and posited that a majority of the registered attendees were actually vacationing in Las Vegas rather than learning in CME sessions. It’s no secret that venue and destination are major contributors to the decision to attend a CME conference, and they may often be a reason to bring the whole family. CME and vacations don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive, but conference planners can take steps to prevent flawed perceptions and be prepared for increased public scrutiny. Here’s how you can protect your organization, and ultimately the PA profession, from becoming the subject of negative primetime news: In conference promotional materials, focus first and foremost on the quality of your educational offerings, faculty and CME content. Have vacation or entertainment details take a back seat to the CME offerings, and present them as evening activities or as “what to do when you’re done learning.” Don’t schedule social or entertainment activities that compete with or are offered at the same time as CME sessions. Implement a mechanism to verify participation prior to awarding CME certificates. This can be something as simple as requiring completed evaluations before issuing certificates or using sign-in sheets. If you have questions about how to navigate these or other gray areas causing increased scrutiny of CME conferences, contact Daniel Pace, AAPA senior director of education. Read More

Constituent Organization Awards

AAPA recognizes constituent organizations through the annual Outreach and Advocacy Awards program. Learn more about the program. Read More

The Importance of Attending Regulatory Meetings

State chapters should send an observer to each meeting of the agency that regulates PA practice. Read More

It's Planning Time for the 2016 Legislative Session

May 15, 2015 - As many state legislatures wind down, it’s just the right time to start thinking about plans for the 2016 state legislative session. Read More