American Academy of Physician Assistants

Florida Continues to Improve Patient Access by Removing Barriers to Care

New Regulations Greatly Improve PA Practice

Contact: James Tyll, 571-319-4394, jtyll@aapa.org

Sept. 14, 2016

Alexandria, Va. — Florida has taken another monumental step forward to increase patient access to care and modernize regulations overseeing the PA profession. New provisions to the Florida Administrative Code will grant PAs the authority to make final diagnoses for their patients and clear regulatory roadblocks to the performance of other vital procedures. With this additional authority and autonomy, PAs will provide Florida patients increased access to comprehensive care. These changes come only months after Florida’s historic announcement that it would become the 49th state to allow PAs to prescribe controlled medications.

 “The rapid improvement that we’ve seen in Florida’s PA practice laws really reflect the state’s commitment to both the PA profession and the patients we care for,” said AAPA President Josanne Pagel, MPAS, PA-C, Karuna®RMT, DFAAPA. “Over the last several years, we’ve seen immense growth in the profession as we work with states around the country to break down barriers to care allowing PAs to practice to the full extent of their education and experience.”

Both the Florida Academy of PAs and the American Academy of PAs have been working for years to modernize PA regulations in the state. The new regulations, which permit PA scope of practice to be determined at the practice level, put an end to an antiquated system of rules that have undermined the ability of PAs to practice medicine in the state for almost 15 years. These revised regulations also allow PAs increased autonomy to perform the following duties without the presence of a physician:

  • Routine insertion of chest tubes and removal of pacer wires
  • Performance of cardiac stress testing
  • Routine insertion of catheters
  • Interpretation of laboratory tests, X-ray studies and EKG’s
  • Administration of general, spinal, and epidural anesthetics by specially qualified PAs

“This is a big win for the PAs and patients of Florida,” said Kate Callaway Burns, MHS, PA-C and president of the Florida Academy of PAs. “When PAs are utilized efficiently, patients benefit by receiving more timely and comprehensive care, and hospitals and clinics see increased value and patient access.”

For more information on Florida PA practice laws visit www.fapaonline.org.

About the American Academy of PAs
AAPA is the national organization that advocates for all PAs and provides tools to improve PA practice and patient care. Founded in 1968, AAPA represents a profession of more than 108,500 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. Visit AAPA.org to learn more.

About the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants

The Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, headquartered in Altamonte Springs, FL, is the statewide professional association of Physician Assistants. The Academy is the vehicle through which its members accomplish joint professional goals of continuing medical education, communications, and legislative advocacy.