New Bill Allows PAs to Collaborate with Physicians in Delaware

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, May 31, 2019

A new bill introduced in Delaware seeks to change the relationship between physician assistants (PAs) and physicians. The bill is sponsored by Representative Kendra Johnson and is known as House Bill 169 (HB 169); click here to review the text of the full bill. It has initially been referred to the Sunset Committee on Policy Analysis and Government Accountability for further consideration.
HB 169 would allow PAs to practice in collaboration with—instead of under the supervision of—a physician. Currently, PAs must have a written supervision agreement with a physician; this agreement determines their delegated scope of practice and ability to prescribe. If passed, the bill would require that PAs enter into collaborative agreements. Physicians and PAs who collaborate jointly contribute to the treatment and management of patients. The physician must be available for consultation during the patient encounter, but he or she doesn’t necessarily need to be physically present. Physicians would still only be able to collaborate with total of four PAs if they do not practice at the same site, but there is no restriction on the number if the physician and PAs practicing in the same facility. HB 169 would also add two new members to the Board of Medicine, and they must be PAs.
The national trend has been moving toward allowing PAs more practice freedom by either moving to a collaborative relationship with physicians or doing away with strict requirements in written agreements. HB 169 is right in line with that trend.
We will be monitoring HB 169 as it works its way through Delaware’s legislative process this year. If you would like to contact the bill’s sponsor, she can be reached via her page of the legislature’s website.