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Legislative Update - March 24, 2020

MAPA’s legislative priority for the session has been our optimal team practice bill, which will remove the supervisory requirement for PA practice. The bill was moving forward prior to the Legislature going into social distancing. Our bill, S.F. 2043, was heard and approved in the Senate HHS Finance and Policy Committee on March 12th. Legislative Committee Co-Chair Leslie Milteer, PA-C, testified in support of the proposal after a flurry of last-minute negotiations with the MN Medical Association (MMA). As a result of those conversations, the MMA testified at the hearing that it was not opposed to the bill, which was then passed unanimously and sent to the Senate floor.

 

The bill had been scheduled to be heard in the House HHS Policy Committee on March 20th, but that and all other House hearings have been canceled as of March 13th when the COVID 19 precautions caused the suspension of all non-essential legislative work.

Although the Legislature has stopped meeting, MAPA has continued to push our proposal with Senators, Representatives and the Board of Medical Practice. The expected onslaught of COVID-19 patients is going to increase the demand for clinicians, but Minnesota’s paperwork requirements continue to discourage health systems from hiring PAs and putting them to work serving patients. Our lobbyist has been diligent.

 

REGARDING EMERGENCY DECLARATION

Many PAs have inquired about MN getting a statement of emergency specifically for PA practice. While we are trying to get our bill passed to clear up any of these ability to practice concerns, our current MN practice act is already more advanced than many other states that are having emergency declarations specific to PA practice. Most of the other states need to address PA to Physician ratio restrictions -Which MAPA eliminated in MN in 2016, as well as supervisory concerns for PAs responding to emergency states. Our current practice act already addressing this concern.


Governor Waltz's declaration of a state of emergency is relevant to current PA practice law - which states:


Statute 147A Sub 2 Items 12-13

(12) functioning as an emergency medical technician with permission of the ambulance service and in compliance with section 144E.127, and ambulance service rules adopted by the commissioner of health;

(13) initiating evaluation and treatment procedures essential to providing an appropriate response to emergency situations


AND

147A.23 RESPONDING TO DISASTER SITUATIONS.

(a) A physician assistant duly licensed or credentialed in a United States jurisdiction or by a federal employer who is responding to a need for medical care created by an emergency according to section 604A.01, or a state or local disaster may render such care as the physician assistant is trained to provide, under the physician assistant's license or credential, without the need of a physician-physician assistant delegation agreement or a notice of intent to practice as required under section 147A.20. A physician assistant may provide emergency care without physician supervision or under the supervision that is available.

(b) The physician who provides supervision to a physician assistant while the physician assistant is rendering care in accordance with this section may do so without meeting the requirements of section 147A.20.

(c) The supervising physician who otherwise provides supervision to a physician assistant under a physician-physician assistant delegation agreement described in section 147A.20 shall not be held medically responsible for the care rendered by a physician assistant pursuant to paragraph (a). Services provided by a physician assistant under paragraph (a) shall be considered outside the scope of the relationship between the supervising physician and the physician assistant.

 

MOVING FORWARD

MAPA is continuing to work towards getting our bill passed with immediate implementation for the benefit of PAs being able to be fully participating members of healthcare teams and to reduce administrative confusion about how we can practice.

Keep a look out for more MAPA outreach requests to legislators and please everyone know that your legislative team is trying every angle possible to protect PAs ability to practice here in MN and nationally.

Please be safe, be strong and take care of each other.

Respectfully,

MAPA Legislative Committee

 

Resources listed below are available for public download:

 

Resources at the below button (including a Legislative Cold Call letter) are available to MAPA members. Make sure you are logged into your profile to view these resources. 
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