New Bill Would Change Practice Relationships for PAs in Oklahoma

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, March 13, 2020

A new bill introduced in Oklahoma seeks to provide physician assistants (PAs) the ability to practice in collaboration with physician. Senate Bill 1915 (SB 1915) is sponsored by Senator Kim David; you can review the text of the bill in full here. It has already passed the Senate, and it awaits assignment to a House committee for further consideration.
Currently, PAs in Oklahoma must practice under the supervision and delegation of a physician. PAs operate as the agent of the physician and may only perform services that are approved by the physician. SB 1915 would change the nature of this relationship to be one of collaboration between the PA and physicians. Under this bill, PAs would enter practice agreements with a physician or physicians. These practice agreements would determine the PA’s scope of practice based on their education, training, skills and experience. Also, the collaborating physician would still need to authorize the PA’s practice setting. PAs would be permitted to form practice agreements with multiple physicians. SB 1915 would make PAs responsible for the care they provide. When collaborating, the collaborating physicians would not need to be physically present with the PA, and the agreements themselves are not required to be in writing.
The national trend has been moving towards allowing PAs to practice with reduced physician oversight and in collaboration with other health professionals rather than under the supervision of physicians; SB 1915 is following that trend. Given that this bill has already been approved by the Senate, it has a good chance of becoming law this year. We will be monitoring SB 1915 as it works its way through Oklahoma’s legislative process.