Promoting & Protecting the PA Profession
NYSSPA’s Government Affairs Committee actively promotes the PA profession by introducing legislation and regulatory changes that improve the way PAs practice.
NYSSPA also plays defense by watching for and addressing legislation that may adversely affect PAs. Our lobbyist helps guide us in the legislative area. Working together, NYSSPA has had many successes:
- Obtained prescriptive privileges
- Expanded to schedule III-V prescriptive privileges
- Further expansion to schedule II-V prescriptive privileges
- Eliminated the 24 hr physician countersignature requirement for inpatient orders
- Passed Chapter 30 of the Laws of 2010 “Big Bill”
- Improved PA-to-physician ratios
- Revised many state and local forms to allow for PA signature
- Securing PA licensure over registration (PAs no longer have "R" in front of their credential)
The NYSSPA PAC Fund
Passing a bill often takes years to accomplish. It takes focus, persistence and patience to reach our goals. There are many steps in the process, involving countless hours of volunteer work, combined with the work of our lobbyist, to advance each issue, including attending meetings, emails, phone calls, travel to Albany and attending fundraisers. All of this takes not only time, but money. This is funded though the NYSSPA PAC fund.
Legislative Agenda: Working for PAs
Your Government Affairs Committee is working on advancements in legislation to remove barriers to PA practice and enable all PAs to practice at the level for which we have been trained.
- Fluoroscopy: For the past several years we have been working on changes in the laws so PAs can perform fluoroscopy. Current barriers include no set educational process, and concerns raised about supervision and radiation safety. Recognizing the need for PAs to be able to utilize fluoroscopy and the need for standardized education, the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists together developed an educational framework and competency assessment program that is nationally accepted to help ensure that PAs performing fluoroscopy are properly prepared. The education consists of forty hours of didactic, forty hours of clinical training and includes radiation safety.
Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health Committees, have introduced 2019 legislation with same-as bills (S.1812) and (A.2982) to allow PAs to perform fluoroscopy after completing the above training.
- Big Bill Clarification: There has been ongoing concern regarding what fits under the umbrella of Chapter 30 of the Laws of 2010, that we have called “the Big Bill”, which addresses PA practice. NYSSPA met with Assemblyman Gottfried and are working together on a letter of interpretation that will help clarify the intent of the law.
- Optimal Team Practice (OTP): NYSSPA created an OTP Committee to work on advancing OTP in New York. A position statement was drafted, discussions initiated with legislators and the Medical Society of New York, and a draft of what NYSSPA would like to have placed into law are all being created.
- MOLST: PAs have not been allowed to sign Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms. However, PAs are often the providers most intimately involved with patients and their families, and it is most appropriate for PAs to sign the forms. A.1162 has been introduced and Senate support is expected.
- Worker's Compensation: The Governor’s budget includes language related to PAs and Worker’s Comp that we feel needs revision. We are working with AAPA on this.
- Medicaid: There has been multiple conversations with the state regarding payment for PA services. NYSSPA has been in contact with the Director of NYS Medicaid to ensure that PAs are appropriately compensated for the patients they see and that there is transparency in a PAs ability to see Medicaid patients.
- At One Time: Currently the interpretation of the PA: Physician ratio is 6:1 in hospitals and correctional institutions, and 4:1 in outpatient settings. The prior Department of Health interpretation of 2002 which stated that it could be “at one time” disappeared with the Medicaid Redesign Team actions several years ago. We have been trying to reinstate this since then and have been stymied by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
- Lobby Day: NYSSPA members are invited to join the Board and other leaders on this important day of discussing our agenda with legislators. Lobby Day makes a difference as we educate about what our profession does and where we are going.
- NYSSPA at the MSSNY House of Delegates: NYSSPA presence at the MSSNY HOD is always an excellent opportunity to speak with many physicians from across the state about our legislative agenda, employment opportunities and to promote our profession.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to become involved, please contact NYSSPA Government Affairs Committee Chair John Hallowell. We need your support!
In addition to legislative issues, NYSSPA is the primary entity for raising visibility for PAs in NYS. We regularly engage with the NYS Education Department, the NYS Office of Medicaid, NYS Regents, the Hospital Association of NYS and others. We are also present at many public forums such as the NYS Fair and, new in 2019, NYSSPA will be partnering with the New York Roadrunners, allowing members to serve as medical volunteers for the NYC Marathon and the Brooklyn Half Marathon. PA students and non-medical volunteers may also join the NYSSPA team!
This is a great way to promote the PA profession to the public and offer members an exciting and unique volunteer opportunity!