Our mission is to empower PAs through advocacy and education; providing resources for physician assistants as well as the community in the pursuit of excellence for team-based medicine. 


PA Modernization Act of 2019

S-443    H-5572

Frequently Asked Questions

To view the full bill text click HERE

What's the need?

The Rhode Island PA Practice Act (RIGL 5-54)  was enacted in 1976.  The PA profession had been in existence less than 10 years; PAs were an unknown entity and the provisions of the act reflected this. Since then both the PA profession and the health care system have undergone a dramatic evolution and while the Act has been amended there remains language that does not reflect the current realities of PA/physician team practice. 

What will change?

The Act will update the law to:

  1. Move from the current supervisory practice model to a collaborative model
  2. Remove requirements for documentation of  the PA/Physician relationship. 
  3. Delete language that inaccurately describes the way that modern health care teams practice.
  4. Relieve physicians from accepting liability for the care provided by the PA
  5. Increase  the annual continuing medical education requirement from 10 to 25 hours

  6. Create an additional PA position on the Board of Licensure for PA.

What will not change?

The role of physicians will not change. PAs will still be required to practice as part of physician led teams and the PA's scope of practice will still be determined by physicians.

Why collaboration?

Collaboration more fully captures the education and training of PAs and the manner in which they interact with physicians.  The word supervision itself inaccurately describes PA/physician team practice and many of the requirements imposed by supervision are unrealistic and impractical.  A collaborative model allows flexibility for organizations to more efficiently meet the demands of a changing health care system.      

Why should physicians not be liable for the care provided by a PA?

Currently, physicians are legally bound to accept responsibility  for all care provided by a PA regardless of whether or not the physician was directly or actively involved in the service delivered.  More and more physicians are not willing to assume this liability and therefore elect not to work with PAs .  It simply makes no sense that a physician be held responsible for the acts of another professional when there was no direct involvement. 

      For more information  contact us at legislation@riapa.org or visit the PA Modernization Act Discussion Forum



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