New Bill Would Change Practice Relationships for Physician Assistants in Oregon

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 11, 2019

A new bill introduced in Oregon seeks to provide physician assistants (PAs) the ability to practice independently from a physician instead of under their supervision. The bill is sponsored by Representative Teresa Alonso León and is known as House Bill 3311 (HB 3311). You can review the text of HB 3311 in full here. It has initially been referred to the Speaker’s desk following its first reading. 
Currently PAs in OR must practice subject to written supervision agreement with a physician. This supervision agreement authorizes the PAs scope of practice, their ability to prescribe, and what level of supervision is needed when they practice. HB 3311 would allow a PA enter into a collaborative practice agreement with physicians, practice groups,  or health care teams. These collaborative practice agreements must include 1) the methods in which the PA and others will partner for providing care, 2) describe the PA’s duties including prescription and administration of medicine, 3) include the PA’s professional development goals and who the collaborating team will contribute to and monitor that development, 4) the agreement must be signed by the PA and someone who the Medical board has determined is appropriate, and 5) the Medical Board may request the agreement to review. As part of this greater practice freedom PAs are now solely responsible for the care they provide. If passed HB 3311 would go into effect on January 1, 2020.
The national trend has been moving towards allowing PAs to practice as collaboratively with other health professionals rather than under the supervision of physicians. In that regard HB 3311 is right in line with that trend and if passed would give Oregon PAs more flexibility in their practice. We will be monitoring HB 3311 as it works its way through Oregon’s legislative process this year.