New Bill Offers Practice Freedom to PAs in Maine

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, April 26, 2019

A bill introduced in Maine seeks to provide physician assistants (PAs) the ability to practice with reduced and more flexible physician oversight. The bill is sponsored by Senator Linda Sanborn and is known as Legislative Document 1660 (LD 1660); you can review the text of the bill in full here. It awaits referral to a committee for further consideration.
LD 1660 would allow PAs to practice without a practice agreement with a physician in certain circumstances. 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, this bill would give PAs defined scope of practice that would be determined by their education, training and experience that could include:
PAs under LD 1660 would not need to maintain written practice agreements in certain practice settings, and instead would need to consult or collaborate with physicians based on the patient’s condition and the PA’s competencies. If they own a medical practice that does not include a physician, they would still need to maintain a practice agreement, but the physical presence of the physician would not be required, and instead the consultation can be performed via electronic means.
The national trend has been moving towards allowing PAs to practice more freely, either by moving to collaborative relationships with physicians or doing away with strict requirements in written agreements. LD 1660 is in line with that trend and, if passed, would make Maine PAs much more independent.
We will be monitoring LD 1660 as it works its way through Maine’s legislative process this year. If you would like to contact the bill’s sponsor, she can be reached via her page on the legislature’s website.