October 07, 2021

California Enacts Telehealth, Colon Cancer Screening; States Seek Modifications to PA/APRN Supervision

Pennsylvania passes and Massachusetts deliberates legislation modifying supervision of physician assistants (PAs). California’s governor signs laws providing coverage for colorectal cancer screening and extending coverage for telehealth services.

Scope of Practice

In Massachusetts, Senate Bill (SB) 740 will be heard before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. The bill seeks to remove supervision of physician assistants (PAs).

In Pennsylvania, both legislative chambers passed SB 398 and it awaits action by the governor. The bill would remove personal supervision of PAs and increase the number of PAs to be supervised from four to six.

SB 25, held by the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, would define an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) as a board-certified nurse licensed to practice independently in a population focused area. The categories would include:

  • Family and individuals across the lifespan.
  • Adult gerontology.
  • Neonatal services.
  • Pediatrics.
  • Women's health and gender-related health.

The bill would define a licensed independent practitioner as an APRN licensed to provide care without direction or supervision, within the scope of the practitioner's license.

Colon Cancer Screening

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 342 into law. The law requires a health insurance policy issued, amended or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2022, to provide coverage without cost sharing of colorectal cancer screening tests assigned either a grade A or B by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Carriers are permitted to impose cost-sharing requirements for services that are delivered by an out-of-network provider.

The California chapter supported this law.


Gov. Newsom also signed AB 457 into law. Existing law mandates a contract issued, amended or renewed on or after Jan. 1, between a carrier and a healthcare provider requires the carrier to reimburse the provider for the diagnosis, consultation or treatment of an enrollee delivered through telehealth services on the same basis and to the same extent as the same service through in-person diagnosis, consultation or treatment. The new law deletes the date restriction, thereby extending the telehealth reimbursement parity requirement for all contracts between a carrier and a healthcare provider.

The law also enacts the Protection of Patient Choice in Telehealth Provider Act and requires a carrier to comply with specified notice and consent requirements if the carrier offers a service via telehealth to an enrollee through a third-party corporate telehealth provider.

The California chapter monitored this law.

For more information, please contact Tina Getachew or Eugenia Brandt. To stay current on state legislative developments relevant to radiology, view the American College of Radiology® policy map.