New Bill Would Change Practice Relationships for Physician Assistants in Louisiana

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, April 1, 2019

A new bill introduced in Louisiana seeks to provide physician assistants (PAs) the ability to practice in collaboration with physician. The bill is sponsored by Senator Eric LaFleur and is known as Senate Bill 166 (SB 166). Click here to review the text of SB 166 in full; it initially has been referred to the Committee on Health and Welfare for consideration.
Currently, PAs in Louisiana must practice under the supervision and delegation of a physician. A PA operates as an agent of the physician and may only perform services that are approved by their physician; SB 166 would change the nature of this relationship to be one of collaboration between the PA and physician. However, a PA’s scope of practice still would be delegated by a physician, and a PA’s prescriptive authority still would be delegated by a collaborating physician. SB 166 doesn’t provide many clues as to what the practical effect of these changes would be; however, under the bill, PAs would be legally responsible for the care they provide.
The national trend has been moving toward allowing PAs to practice as with reduced physician oversight and in collaboration with other health professionals rather than under the supervision of physicians, and SB 166 is following that trend. We will be monitoring SB 166 as it works its way through Louisiana’s legislative process this year.