CALIFORNIA Bill Brings Collaboration for Physician Assistants

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 7, 2022

Bill Name: Senate Bill 158 (SB 158) 

Primary Sponsor: Senator Jay Luneau

Status: 05/17/2022 Read by title and returned to the Calendar, subject to call.

AmSpa’s Take: Reducing unnecessary complications and restrictions for advanced practitioner practice is a positive move. While this bill would leave physician assistant (PA) practice more complicated and restrictive when compared to the leading states, it would still be a move in the right direction and open the doors to future improvements.  

Outlook: This bill is in the first steps of the process and, based on the sponsor’s past record and party affiliation, it is more likely to pass. The sponsor of the bill is also a member of the Committee on Health and Welfare, so this may indicate stronger support through the initial phases of the process.

Analysis: Currently, physician assistants (PAs) in Louisiana practice under the supervision of a physician. The PA’s scope of practice on the services they provide and prescriptions they can provide are delegated and monitored within this supervisory relationship.    

Under SB 158, this relationship would transition to one of “collaboration.”  Collaboration, in this context, is characterized as a cooperative where the physician and PA jointly contribute to patient care, discuss diagnosis, and cooperate on the management and delivery of care. This relationship is represented by a written collaboration agreement between the PA and physician.  

While this may seem like a relatively minor change in terminology, it would result in a PA being able to practice with fewer paperwork issues in a more flexible practice setting, as similar measures have accomplished in other states. A long-running national trend toward reduced oversight requirements and more practice autonomy has benefitted advanced practitioners such as PAs and nurse practitioners (APRNs). While SB 158 does not go as far as other states in providing practice flexibility for PAs, it is a major improvement. If you would like additional information, to read the bill or to contact the sponsors, you can find the information you need through this link