New Bill Would Change Practice Relationships for Physician Assistants in Nevada

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A new bill introduced in Nevada seeks to provide physician assistants (PAs) the ability to practice independently of a physician. The bill is sponsored by Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow and is known as Assembly Bill 328 (AB 328). You can review the text of AB 328 in full here; it initially has been referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor for consideration.
Currently, PAs in Nevada must practice under the supervision and delegation of a physician; they operate as agents of the physician and may only perform services that are approved by their physician. AB 328 would allow a PA to practice independently and be responsible for the care he or she provides. Under the bill, PAs would need to obtain a DEA prescriber number and collaborate or consult with other health professionals. The PA’s scope of practice would be determined by his or her educational background, practical training and experience; this would include diagnosing, providing treatment, writing medical orders, prescribing treatments and scheduling II through V controlled substances. As part of this change, AB 328 would add two physician assistants to the Medical Board.
The national trend is 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. In this regard, AB 328 is in line with that trend and, if passed, would give Nevada PAs more flexibility in their practice. We will be monitoring AB 328 as it works its way through Nevada’s legislative process this year.