New Bill Would Give Collaborative Practice to PAs in Illinois

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A new bill introduced in the Illinois House would allow physician assistants (PAs) to form collaboration agreements with physicians. The bill is sponsored by Representative Kathleen Willis and is known as House Bill 1826 (HB 1826); you can read the bill in full here. Currently, HB 1826 is awaiting assignment to a committee for further consideration. The primary sponsor of the bill appears to be the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants.
Currently PAs in Illinois must practice under a written supervision agreement with a physician. Their scope of practice and prescriptive authority are defined in these written agreements. HB 1826 would change this relationship to one of collaboration. HB 1826 would require that PAs enter into written collaboration agreements with a physician who shares their area of practice. To comply with HB 1826, the following would need to be part of the agreement:
Under this new bill, PAs would be professionally and legally responsible for the care they provide. HB 1826 would also recharacterize PA practice from providing services to a physician to practicing medicine in collaboration with a physician. PAs would also be able to prescribe medications and controlled substances, including Schedule II drugs. Schedule II substances can only be prescribed if the collaborating physician also routinely employs them, and they may not be administered by injection. HB 1826 would also call for the establishment of a Physician Assistant Medical Licensing Board to oversee PA practices.
This bill would not give practice independence, as the collaborative agreement is still present. It would, however, vastly simplify the paperwork needed to practice and provide substantial freedom to the PA. This would be a step forward in the national trend to reduce practice restrictions on PAs and other advanced practitioners.
We will be monitoring HB 1826 as it advances though the Illinois legislative process this year.