January 24, 2019

States Consider Expanding PA Scope of Practice

As with nurse practitioners, physician assistants (PAs) are approaching state lawmakers and governors to seek an expanded scope of practice that would loosen supervisory and regulatory restrictions keeping them from practicing without physician oversight.

As state legislatures are beginning deliberations in January, we are tracking the following bills related to PA scope of practice:

New York

In New York, the new Senate Health Committee Chairman, Gustavo Rivera, introduced S1812 to allow physician assistants to perform fluoroscopic procedures. The bill seeks to grant PAs the authority to perform fluoroscopy under the general supervision of a physician, whereby the supervising physician does not have to be physically present at the time and place where the services are performed.

The New York State Radiological Society supports “direct supervision” as consistent with the ACR-AAPM Technical Standard, which states that supervision by a “radiologist or other qualified physician must be direct or personal.” The direct supervision requirement stipulates that a physician must be present in the section of the facility where the procedure is performed.

North Dakota

Rep. Bill Devlin introduced HB 1175 to amend the section related to regulation of PAs. As introduced, the measure outlines that

1. A physician assistant may:
a. Provide a legal medical service for which a physician assistant is prepared by education, training, and experience and is competent to perform, including: []
(3) “Ordering, performing, and interpreting a diagnostic study and therapeutic procedure;”

South Carolina

South Carolina’s H3399 (companion SB 132), PA Act of 2019, as introduced the measure stipulates that: 

(C)(1) PAs may provide legal medical services for which they are qualified by their education, training, and experience and are competent to perform as determined by the physician-PA team and stated within the scope of practice. Medical and surgical services provided by PAs include, but are not limited to: []

(c) ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic studies and therapeutic procedures;