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.
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 would change?
The Act will update the law to:
Won't removing the practice agreement allow PAs independent practice?
No. The PA's will still be required to practice in collaboration with physicians and a physician must still be available at all times for communication.
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 are practice agreements being taken out?
Eliminating practice agreements removes impractical administrative requirements that offer no protections the public and unintentionally create increased liability. When a PA isn’t bound by requirements such as a list of specific services with references to levels of supervision for each service and requirements communication employers (health systems, hospitals, and group practices) can be more flexible in determining healthcare teams. This will allow them to more effectively meet patient needs.
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.