Senate Bills 397 & 398 passed and were signed by the Governor on October 7, 2022. These bills were sponsored by Senator Pittman were introduced in February 2021. The bills codified the following changes for PAs practicing in Pennsylvania:
- Written agreements are FILED with the State Board of Medicine or State Board of Osteopathic Medicine and PAs can BEGIN TO WORK IMMEDIATELY
- Co-signature is only required for the first 12 months of PA practice after graduation and the first 12 months when change of specialty
- Increased ratios to 6 PAs to each primary supervising physician (was 4)
- Removed requirement for on-site presence of supervising physician at any location (including satellite locations)
- Permanent seat for a PA on the Medical and Osteopathic Boards
Promulgation of Regulations: This is the step-by-step development of rules that define our practice in Pennsylvania. Since there are numerous changes with the legislation, it will require significant changes to the regulations currently in place.
The medical board attorneys have been in the process of writing the package for regulatory changes to implement Act 78 and Act 79.
Home Care Services order writing
The passage of HB 2401 over the summer made Home Care Services order writing permanent for PAs and NPs.
Senate Bill 705, introduced by Senator Vogel passed the Senate last year and remains in the House Insurance Committee. This bill did not pass during this legislative session. The PA Department of State published a summary of how telemedicine is to be handled after the COVID waivers expired on October 31, 2022. Here is a link: https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/Pages/Telemedicine-FAQs.aspx
Informed Consent (Senate Bill 425) passed which allows PAs to obtain informed consent again. As you know, in 2017 there was a malpractice case in PA that called into question if informed consent was obtained for a surgery. This case was appealed to the supreme court who gave the opinion that only a physician who was performing the procedure could obtain informed consent. This bill reinstated the ability of PAs to obtain informed consent.
HB 2419 allows PAs to perform tele-psych encounters. The PA must have a mental health certification or obtain that certification within 2 years of being hired by a psychiatrist or psychiatric clinic. The bill passed both chambers in July and was signed into law by the Governor.