Message from the President
I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage each of you to renew your PAAV membership, if you have not already. We are your voice for the state and we rely on membership dues to continue to keep our organization running. As PAs, we have busy lives filled with different types of patient care and teaching. For that reason, we have had the help of a local management company to handle your phone calls, emails, coordinate the logistics of our conference, and so many other things we wouldn’t be able to get to in addition to our current work. After 39+ years, the Executive Director and leader of our management company, Catherine Foss, is retiring. We will have a new Executive Director, Michele Nilsson. She will start January 1st 2021. Our address has already changed to:
As many of you know, the PA Bill (which was S.128 and is now referred to as Act 123) was signed into law on July 1, 2020. What this means for you depends on if you are continuing your current practice or starting a new position. Any new positions require a “practice agreement” instead of a “delegation agreement.” At this point, we know the practice agreement has to include several things specified in the law. Here is the available link to Act 123. This includes all of the language with the eliminated seconds crossed out. https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2020/Docs/ACTS/ACT123/ACT123%20As%20Enacted.pdf
Required for a Practice Agreement as of 7/1/2020 copied from VT law (Act 123)
- Processes for physician communication, availability, decision making, and periodic joint evaluation of services delivered when providing medical care to a patient
- An agreement that the PA’s scope of practice shall be limited to medical care that is within the PA’s education, training, and experience. Specific restrictions, if any, ...shall be listed.
- A plan to have a physician available for consultation at all times when the PA is practicing medicine.
- The signatures of the PA and participating physician, no other signatures shall be required.
- A practice agreement may specify the extent of the collaboration required between the PA and the physicians and other health care professionals: provided; however, that a physician shall be accessible for consultation by telephone or electronic means at all times a PA is practicing.
- The practice agreement shall be reviewed by the PA and either the participating physician or a representative of the practice, physician group, or health care facility, at a minimum of at the time of the PA’s license renewal
- In the event of the unanticipated unavailability of a participating physician practicing as a sole practitioner due to serious illness or death, a PA may continue to practice for not more than a 30-day period without entering into a new practice agreement with another participating physician.
- The practice agreement shall be filed with the Board. The Board shall not request or require any modifications to the practice agreement. The practice agreement may be filed with the Board electronically at the option of the PA, no original documents shall be required
- Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the physical presence of a physician at the time and place at which a PA renders a medical service
- A PA may prescribe, dispense, and administer and procure drugs and medical devices to the same extent as may a physician. A PA who prescribes controlled substances shall be registered with the federal DEA.
The Board of Medical Practice has one year to further define and release their updated rules on what needs to be included in this document. With a new PA position, you no longer have to submit the primary and secondary supervising physician forms. The Board of Medical Practice has written a document summarizing these changes to help clarify. The link is: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/BMP_Statutes_PAChangesJuly2020.pdf
For those of you continuing in your current PA positions, you have already submitted the previously required paperwork (Delegation Agreement, Primary and Secondary Supervising Physician forms, employment contract.) Your practice is still following these documents until you submit new ones and have a new license issued. If you are still using your current Delegation agreement, then you do need to keep this up to date and submit changes as you always have including changes in your primary/secondary supervising physicians until you renew your license in late 2021 to be effective as of 1/31/2022.
PAAV is your voice in Vermont, in the legislature, as well as nationally. As changes occur that may affect your practice, PAAV will provide updates. Please help us continue our mission to represent you, provide education, and professional support by renewing your membership. Here is the link to the PAAV website www.paav.org. Thank you.
Sarah H. Bushweller PA-C