August 10, 2011 — The American Academy of Physician Assistants welcomed the approval of the Physician Assistant Practice Modernization Act by Governor John Kitzhaber.
Kitzhaber, an emergency physician, signed the bill into law on August 4, as a result of an 18-month advocacy initiative led by PAs in Oregon, the Oregon Society of Physician Assistants and AAPA. Physician assistants and PA students, Senate President Peter Courtney and representatives from the Oregon Medical Association, strong supporters of the legislation, were present for the signing.
Jim Potter, AAPA CEO, said the new law streamlines the licensure process for physician assistants in the Beaver State, and deletes archaic language that required each PA’s scope of practice and supervision requirements to be determined by the medical board. In order to begin practice a licensed PA will need to complete a practice agreement with a licensed physician and file the agreement with the state medical board.
“We are very pleased with this new law, and with the partnership of the Oregon Society of Physician Assistants and the Oregon Medical Association,” said AAPA President Robert Wooten, PA-C. “Physician-PA teams are extremely effective in the clinical setting, and it’s great to see this model in action in advocacy. The signing of SB 224 is good news for patients in Oregon.”
The Oregon law comes weeks after Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin approved several major improvements to the PA Practice Act in the Green Mountain State. The new Vermont PA Practice Act is now entirely consistent with AAPA’s Six Key Elements of a Modern Physician Assistant Practice Act. State laws have far-reaching effects on PA practice and patient access to care. AAPA has identified six key elements that should be in every state’s PA practice act so that physician-PA teams can care for patients as effectively and efficiently as possible.
For more information on the Six Key Elements of a Modern Physician Assistant Practice, visit www.aapa.org/advocacy-and-practice-resources/state-advocacy/six-key-elements.
Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of over 75,000 clinically practicing PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, and within the uniformed services.
AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. AAPA works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants. It also works to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare