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Does LD 166, passed in March, result in independent practice for PAs?


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Hi Maine PAs!
Got in a discussion with some docs about independent practice for PAs. I have in the past used the following approach with success: "In how many states do PAs have independent practice? 0. If you don't think that's correct, google it and get back to me. In how many states has PA OTP been passed? Many, either in part or in full. OTP isn't independence, it's team practice, we want to be on your team."
However, someone responded by linking this:
https://www.aapa.org/news-central/2020/03/maine-legislature-fast-tracks-pa-legislation-to-help-combat-covid-19/
I went and looked up the law, frankly the AAPAs report used wording that seems to me a little squirrely. It made it sound like PAs with 4k+ hours get independent practice, but reading the law, I don't think that's what it means, a practice agreement is still required that requires a specific scope of practice and collaboration/consultation with an active physician.
But I wanted to check with y'all since it's your state. What does this law mean for PAs? Is it independent practice? If not, why not?
Thanks for the help!

Edited by mbioguy
accidental double word in the title
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So it all depends on how you define “independence.” 
 

this law does not allow you to open your own shop and practice without a collaborative physician or without a scope of practice agreement. 
 

does it allow you to practice “independently” on a health care team in which other physicians work without any agreement, allowing you to practice to your own scope and abilities after 4K hours? Yes. 
 

so, they are not allowed to practice solo, but within a group or team that includes a physician, yes, they can act “independently,” though I think autonomously would be a better descriptor. This is the definition of OTP.

side note: I didn’t realize we had 2 states with real OTP! Congrats Maine! There is no PA board, but all the other big stuff is there! It even has direct billing!

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