New Bill Would Give Collaborative Practice to PAs in West Virginia

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A new bill in the West Virginia Senate would allow physician assistants (PAs) to form collaboration agreements with physicians. The bill’s lead sponsor is Senator Tom Takubo, and it is known as Senate Bill 714 (SB 714); you can be read the bill in full here. Currently, SB 714 is scheduled for its third reading in the Senate, which typically signals a vote. Last week, it emerged from the Health and Human Services Committee with a recommendation to pass it.
Currently, PAs in West Virginia must practice under a written practice agreement with a collaborating physician; their scope of practice and prescriptive authority is defined by these written agreements. SB 714 would still require PAs to collaborate with physicians or podiatrists but would do away with the written practice agreements. In their place, PAs would need to file a practice notification with the board. Once approved, the PA would be able to provide medical services and prescribe in collaboration with a physician. Their scope of practice would be limited by their education, training and experience. However, when it comes to Schedule II and III controlled substances, the PA could only prescribe a three-day supply for Schedule II or a 30-day supply for Schedule III, both without refill.
This bill would not give practice independence, as collaboration is still present. It would, however, vastly simplify the paperwork needed to practice and provide substantial flexibility to the PA’s practice. This would be a step forward in the national trend to reduce practice restrictions on PAs and other advanced practitioners.
We will be monitoring this SB 714 as it advances though the West Virginia legislative process this year.