Regulatory Activity

ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL AND OSTEOPATHIC BOARDS REGARDING ADDITIONAL CME REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE

VERIFICATION OF OPIOID EDUCATION FOR
MEDICAL PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT APPLICATIONS AND RENEWALS
SUBMITTED AFTER JULY 1, 2017

Section 9.1(a) of ABC-MAP* requires that all prescribers or dispensers, as defined in Section 3 of ABC-MAP, applying for licensure/certification complete at least 4 hours of Board-approved education consisting of 2 hours in pain management or the identification of addiction and 2 hours in the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. Medical physician assistants, who hold prescriptive authority approval fall within ABC-MAP’s definition of prescribers or dispensers.

Requirements for initial applicants

Medical physician assistants seeking prescriptive authority approval on or after July 1, 2017, must document, within one (1) year from issuance of the license or prescriptive authority approval, that they completed this education either as part of their professional degree education program, or through a stand-alone course. The four (4) hours of Board-approved education needs to be completed only once.

Where this education is part of the professional degree educational program, verification of completion from the Program may be included within the Verification of Graduation from a Physician Assistant Program for medical physician assistants.

New initial PA license forms were published August of 2017 on the State Board of Medicine website http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Medicine/Pages/default.aspxunder general board information.

Renewals

In order for medical physician assistants to renew their license or prescriptive authority approval for the next renewal period, section 9.1(a)(2) of ABC-MAP requires that they complete at least two (2) hours of continuing education in pain management, the identification of addiction or the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. The continuing education requirements of ABC-MAP will count towards the total number of continuing education credits required for renewal.  For medical physician assistants, this continuing education must be acceptable for credit by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Allopathic physician assistant licenses expire December 31 of every even-numbered year. The Board mails renewal notices two to three months prior to the license expiration date. Notices are mailed to the most recent address that was reported to the Board.  The Postal Service does not forward licenses.

 

*The Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program Act (ABC-MAP) (also known as Act 124 of 2016), 35 P.S. § 872.3, is available on the Legislature’s website at:http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/uconsCheck.cfm?yr=2016&sessInd=0&act=124

 

      VERIFICATION OF OPIOID EDUCATION FOR OSTEOPATHIC
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT APPLICATIONS AND RENEWALS
SUBMITTED AFTER JULY 1, 2017

Section 9.1(a) of ABC-MAP* requires that all prescribers or dispensers, as defined in Section 3 of ABC-MAP, applying for licensure/certification complete at least 4 hours of Board-approved education consisting of 2 hours in pain management or the identification of addiction and 2 hours in the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. Osteopathic physician assistants fall within ABC-MAP’s definition of prescribers or dispensers.

Requirements for initial applicants

Osteopathic physician assistants must document within one (1) year from issuance of the license that they completed this education either as part of their professional degree education program and its completion attested to when applying for renewal. The four (4) hours of Board-approved education needs to be completed only once.

Where this education is part of the professional degree educational program, verification of completion from the Program may be included within the Verification of Graduation from a Physician Assistant Program for osteopathic physician assistants. The Verification forms will be available on the website at http://www.dos.pa.gov/ost.

New initial PA license forms were published August 2017 on the State Board of Osteopathic Board website http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/OsteopathicMedicine/Pages/default.aspx under general board information.

Renewals

In order for osteopathic physician assistants to renew their license for the next renewal period, section 9.1(a)(2) of ABC-MAP requires that they complete at least two (2) hours of continuing education in pain management, the identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids. The continuing education requirements of ABC-MAP will count towards the total number of continuing education credits required for renewal. For osteopathic physician assistants, this continuing education must be acceptable for credit by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The board mails renewal notices 2 to 3 months prior to the license expiration date. Notices are mailed to the most recent address the licensee has reported to the Board. The Postal Service does not forward licenses.  The Osteopathic Physician Assistant renewal cycle is October 31st even-numbered years at a cost of $10.00

 

*The Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program Act (ABC-MAP) (also known as Act 124 of 2016), 35 P.S. § 872.3, is available on the Legislature’s website at:  http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/uconsCheck.cfm?yr=2016&sessInd=0&act=124

 

The PSPA is offering a 2-hour presentation as part of the 42nd Annual PSPA Fall CME Conference in King of Prussia. The presentation entitled “Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Changing Lives is Wednesday, October 17, 2017 at 1:45pm to 3:45pm. Conference registration is available at the following link: http://pspa.net/App/PSPA/Conference/Conf_1_All_Main.aspx

This course is acceptable for credit by the NCCPA.

HOSPITAL BASED PAS MATRIX RELEASED

HAP’s Advanced Practice Professionals Advisory Group has develped a guidebook entitled “Use of Physician Assistants, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nurse Specialists in the Hospital Setting in Pennsylvania.”  We are confident that this resource tool will provide guidance in understanding allowable practices in the hospital setting. Please distribute to your supervising physicians, PA co-workers and hospital administration.

STATE BOARD OF MEDICINE NEWS RELEASE

Board Approves Temporary Authorization for Physician Assistants to Practice Pending Board Approval of the “Application for Registration as a Supervising Physician”

At its meeting on March 21, 2013, the State Board of Medicine approved a temporary authorization for Physician Assistants to practice pending formal approval of the “Application for Registration as a Supervising Physician.”

Upon submission of the application, Board staff will review the application ONLY for completeness and issue a letter to the supervising physician providing the temporary authorization for the physician assistant to begin practice.

If the application is not “complete” (i.e., required signatures are not provided, information is missing, fee is not included, etc.), a temporary authorization for the physician assistant to begin practicing WILL NOT be issued.

The temporary authorization, when issued, will provide a period of 120 days during which the physician assistant may practice, under the terms of set forth in the written agreement as submitted to the Board. Within 120 days, the Board will notify the supervising physician of the final approval or disapproval of the application. If approved, a final approval of the written agreement will be issued to the Supervising Physician. If there are discrepancies that have not been corrected within the 120 day period, the temporary authorization to practice will expire.

Board Approves Reduction in Paperwork and Reporting Requirements
for Substitute Supervising Physicians of the Physician Assistants
The Board also approved a reduction in paperwork and reporting requirements for substitute supervising physicians. Effective immediately, the “Written Agreement Change Form” for Adding/Deleting a Substitute Supervisor will no longer be required to be filed with the Board office.
However, the “Written Agreement Change Form” is required and must be submitted to:

  • Delete a Physician Assistant;
  • Dissolve a Written Agreement;
  • Make Changes in Protocol, including: changing the job duties of the Physician Assistant;
  • Changing the Physician Assistant’s prescribing or dispensing privileges;
  • Changing the practice address (only if changing a hospital practice location)

Additional Amendments to Requirements for the Supervision of Physician Assistants
The Board will issue a Statement of Policy to make additional amendments to the “Application for Registration as a Supervising Physician” which will reduce the paperwork and reporting requirements. When the Statement of Policy has been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, additional amendments will be made to the application form(s).

Link to special notice on State Board of Medicine website:
Special Notice: 572039

Link to new forms:
State Board of Medicine Forms

KEEP YOUR LICENSE ACTIVE

If your license has been inactive for greater than four years, the medical board has now implemented steps that you must take in order to have your license reactivated. These steps include having an active NCCPA certificate and taking a pre-approved board review course. If your license has been inactive for less than four years and you have maintained your certification status, we urge you to contact the medical board to have your license reactivated. If you are considering a temporary move out of clinical practice, we strongly advise that you do not let your license lapse. Whether you assume an administrative role, transition into an academic position, or take a job in a research setting it is important that you maintain your active licensure status. Even if you don’t plan to practice clinically, you can keep your license active as long as you maintain your national certification. For questions regarding licensure please contact the State Board of Medicine at the following location.

State Board of Medicine
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Phone – (717) 783-1400
Fax – (717) 787-7769
ST-MEDICINE@state.pa.us

EMS ACT OF 2006

After many months of being on “the back burner,” Act 45 revisions, know as the EMS Act of 2006, is again on the move. The Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council has requested input on their web site before the final draft is presented to the Department of Health and to the Legislature for final consideration. As liaisons to the PEHSC, Lane Bower and I have been actively following the EMS Act for the last few years. The current Act 45 does not have any provisions for Physician Assistants to serve in Pre Hospital roles, unless they have Paramedic or EMT certification and function in those roles.

Thankfully, the new revisions to the Act include PAs in several areas. The first mention is in the definitions, where Pre Hospital Physician Assistants (PHPA) are defined as certified by the DOH as a PHPA.

The bulk of PHPA discussion occurs in Section 18, where specific credentials of PHPA’s are listed, and include age above 18, BLS and ACLS certified, and written as well as practical examination requirements that will be created by the DOH. This section also discusses continuing education requirements for PHPA’s. Gratefully, our language is very similar to the language of the following section regarding Pre Hospital Physicians.

The last change involves vehicle coverage. The language used for staffing BLS ambulances, ALS ambulances, and ALS squad vehicles does not preclude PAs from staffing these vehicles. Of note, the Air Ambulance language did not change, and does not allow a PA to staff the aircraft.

Lastly, PAs are not included in Medical Command language in Section 25. We will continue to monitor this and make appropriate suggestions when the opportunities arise. If you would like to read the EMS Act of 2006 for yourself, it may be found on the PEHSC website at www.pehsc.org, and click on the “Star of Life” icon.