New Bill Would Give Physician Assistants Practice Independence in Minnesota

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A new bill introduced in Minnesota seeks to provide physician assistants (PAs) the ability to practice independently from physicians instead of under their supervision. The bill is sponsored by senators Mary Kiffmeyer and Chris A. Eaton and is known as Senate File 2043 (SF 2043). You can review the text of SF 2043 in full here; it has been referred to the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee following its first reading.
Currently, PAs in Minnesota must practice subject to a written supervision agreement with a physician. This agreement authorizes the PAs scope of practice, confirms their ability to prescribe, and specifies the level of supervision that is needed when they practice. SF 2043 would allow a PA practice independently within his or her scope of practice. Additionally, the PA scope of practice is expanded to include:
Under SF 2043, PAs would be accountable for the care they render, and they must recognize the limits of their expertise and consult, make and accept referrals as warranted. A PA would still need a physician to review his or her medical practice at least annually and provide proof of that to the Medical Board on request.
The national trend has been moving towards allowing PAs to practice collaboratively with other health professionals rather than under the supervision of physicians. SF 2043 is in line with that trend, and if passed would give Minnesota PAs greater flexibility in their scope of practice. We will be monitoring SF 2043 as it works its way through Minnesota’s legislative process this year.