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PA Authority and Power Expanded in Mass

November 4, 2013

SB 2400 Signed into Law! Important Changes for PA Profession

On August 6th, Governor Deval Patrick signed Senate Bill 2400 into law, making numerous positive changes for the PA profession.

The important improvements to the law include the following:

1. PAs are granted Primary Care Provider (PCP) status. This will allow PAs to have their own panel of patients, be listed in the insurer index as a PCP and allow them to refer patients.

2. Carriers must recognize PAs as participating providers and shall include coverage for care provided by PAs on a nondiscriminatory basis. PAs will be enrolled and credentialed with commercial payers and therefore will have the ability to bill under their personal identifier when appropriate.

3. The bill removes the limit to the number of PAs a physician can supervise at one time.

4. The supervising physician’s name is no longer required to be included on a PA’s prescription.

5. The definition of a PA was made consistent to recognize they are licensed practitioners.

6. PAs can apologize to a patient or patient’s family for act of omission and that apology cannot be used against them in litigation.

7. The Health Care Workforce Center will further study the PA role in primary care.

8. PAs will be eligible to apply for student loan forgiveness under the Health Care Workforce Trust Fund.

Take Action – Say Thank You!

We ask that you take a moment to thank the following state leaders who played a critical role in advancing these changes for PAs. Here’s what to say and who to call:

• State your name, where you are from and identify yourself as a PA.
• State you are calling to say thank you for the changes made to the PA profession under the health care cost containment bill.
• These important changes will certainly increase access to high-quality care for patients around the Commonwealth.
• Again, on behalf of the Commonwealth’s PAs, thank you.

Governor Deval Patrick (617) 725-4005
Speaker Robert DeLeo (617) 722-2500
Senate President Therese Murray (617) 722-1500
House Chair Steve Walsh, Jt. Health Care Financing (617) 722-2430
Senate Chair Richard Moore, Jt. Health Care Financing (617) 722-1420

This success would not have been possible without the Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants and its valued members. Over the past year, MAPA’s volunteer leadership and lobbyists have worked with American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) staff and met with numerous legislators and their staff to increase patient access to quality health care.

If you’re a member of MAPA and AAPA, thank you for your support during the legislative process. Your phone calls to and conversations with legislators were invaluable.

If you’re not a member of MAPA and AAPA, join today and support your profession to make future accomplishments possible.

This e-mail alert is being sent to you by the AAPA at the request of your state chapter. The Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants: Partners in State Advocacy.

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