Two Pennsylvania Senate Bills Address Physician Assistant Practice Issues

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Harrisburg-Capitol-nightTwo bills introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate seek to make changes to the state’s Medical Practice Act and Osteopathic Medical Practice Act concerning the practice of physician assistants (PAs). Sen. Tom Killion is the sponsor of both bills.

The legislation as currently written would:

  • Establish a permanent seat on the State Medical Board and on the State Board Osteopathic Medicine for a PA.
  • Remove the physician countersignature requirement for all patient files
  • Allow a written agreement to be filed rather than approved by the Medical and Osteopathic Boards
  • Provide a definition of physician supervision of physician assistants
  • Remove the limit on how many PAs physicians can supervise

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) opposes both bills in their current form. We strongly support physician-led, team-based care that emphasizes coordination over provider autonomy.

What’s Next

The bills SB 870 and SB 871 – have been referred to the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. PAMED also expects similar companion bills to be introduced in the House in the near future.

PAMED has met with representatives from the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants in order to listen to their concerns. We are working within our existing policy to determine whether any compromise solutions can be found that does not erode physician supervision responsibilities.

We will provide any updates to members as they become available.

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