IOWA Bills Would Allow Physician Assistants to Collaborate

Posted By Madilyn Moeller, Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Bill Name: House  Bill 424 (HB 424) and Senate Study Bill 1142 (SSB 1142)

Primary Sponsor: House Committee on Health and Human Services; Senate Committee on State Government

Status: HB 424: 3/16/2023 Passed House Senate Sub-Committee recommends passage.

SSB 1142: 2/8/2023 referred to Senate Committee on State Government.

AmSpa’s Take: Reducing the amount of regulation and paperwork with which advanced practitioners such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) need to comply to practice frees up time and resources that can be better spent seeing patients, improving their skills, and developing their practices.

Outlook: These bills are in the first steps of the process but have a lower likelihood of passing based on the sponsorship.

Analysis: Currently, Iowa physician assistants (PAs) practice under the supervision of a physician. This supervising physician delegates the health care tasks that the PA may perform. The relationship is formalized using a written supervision agreement, which lays out which tasks and medications are authorized. Under HB 424 and SSB 1142 (which are identical), PAs would instead work in collaboration with a physician or employer.

HB 424 and SSB 1142 loosely define “collaboration,” the degree of which is determined at the practice level and may involve decisions by a medical group, hospital service, physician, employer of the PA, or the credentialing and privileging system of a licensed health care facility. PAs would ultimately be responsible for the services they perform. Currently, these bills don’t have any set meeting or oversight requirements for the PA. HB 424 and SSB 1142, in their present form, would leave it up to later administrative rules to more clearly define the bounds and requirements of this collaboration.

The majority of states allow nurse practitioners to practice independently. More recently, many states have been giving more freedom and autonomy to PAs, as well. HB 424 and SSB 1142 are squarely within this trend. If you would like additional information, to read the language of the bill or to contact the sponsors or committee, you can find the information you need through these links: HB 424 and SSB 1142.