Physician Assistant Central
In this section of the website our plan will be to create a centralized hub of information for use of signed-in physician assistant members.This will include many resources which provide useful to the every day physician assistant in practice.
Links: government affairs
On the interim, we will list below the most important change to the New Jersey Physician Assistant community. Recently, The New Jersey Physician Assistant Modernization Act was passed. We will be creating an in-depth FAQ and informational on what it means for you. For now see details below:
Modernizing the New Jersey Physician Assistant Licensing Act
- Eliminates Requirement of the Restrictive Co-signature Requirement
- NJSSPA and AAPA assert that methods of supervision should be decided at the practice level by the supervising physician, the PA, and any relevant facility
- Removal of the word “direct” supervision
- Clarify Physician Assistant Scope of Practice
- Revise the Role of PAs in Disasters and Emergencies
The law permits the scope of practice to be determined by physician PA team, the licensed healthcare facility, and the training and experience of the PA with a delegation agreement
NJSSPA and AAPA assert modern legislation must include provisions that, in an emergency or a state disaster PAs must be permitted to render care that they are able to provide to best support New Jersey residents.
Law includes allowing the PAs:
- To pronounce death
- Order restrains under CMS rule
- Dispense medications
- Administer medications
- Request, dispense sample medications
On January 19, 2016, Governor Christie signed into law the New Jersey Physician Assistant Modernization Act (S1184/A1950). The bill received unanimous support from the legislature and represents five years of hard work and careful negotiation by NJSSPA’s leadership in consultation with our lobbying partner, Porzio Governmental Affairs.
With S1184, New Jersey now meets 5 of the 6 AAPA Key Elements of Modern PA Practice. The law contains several provisions that will advance PA practice in NJ and enhance the nature of care we deliver to our patients. These provisions are outlined below.
- Removal of the state-mandated co-signature requirement
- Co-signatures are no longer state-mandated. Hospitals, practices and employers are still permitted to require co-signatures at the practice level at their discretion. Any such co-signature requirements can now be crafted according to each PA’s training, experience and the practice environment.
- Scope of practice determined at the practice level
- PAs will now be permitted to perform services and procedures beyond those outlined in the list of “allowable procedures”. The list will still serve as a baseline scope of practice for all NJ PAs, however, PAs will be permitted to perform additional services and procedures provided that they fall within the PA’s training and experience and form a customary component of the supervising physician’s scope of practice. The services and procedures must be outlined in an agreement signed by the PA and physician. The agreement must be kept on file at the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee and updated annually.
- A detailed description of the required agreement format and contents is forthcoming.
- This provision allows PAs to meet the needs of their specialty, practice setting and patient population by creating flexibility in scope of practice.
- Responding to disasters and emergencies
- PAs will now be allowed to render care in disasters and emergencies without physician supervision, provided that the care rendered falls within the PA’s training and experience. This provision only applies to disasters and emergencies that occur outside the PA’s place of employment. PA’s rendering care in such situations will not be liable for civil damages except in the event of gross negligence.
- Pronouncement of death
- PAs will be permitted to make the determination and pronouncement of death. Please note, PAs will not permitted to declare cause of death.
- In the event that the decedent was infected with HIV, Hepatitis B or suffered from AIDS or other infectious diseases as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Health, the PA is responsible for notifying the funeral director.
- Requirement to carry malpractice insurance
- All PAs in NJ who engage in clinical practice will be required to carry malpractice insurance or, if insurance is not available, a letter of credit. The name and address of the insurance carrier will be provided by the PA on the license renewal form.
- Dispensing and administering medications and medical devices
- In addition to ordering and prescribing medications, PAs will now be permitted to dispense and administer medications and medical devices as delegated by the supervising physician.
- Dispensing of medications will only be permitted if pharmacy services are not reasonably available or in the event of an emergency.
- PAs will now be permitted to request, receive and sign for prescription drug samples and distribute samples to patients.
- Removal of confusing “direct supervision” language
- Supervision will now be defined as maintenance of contact between the PA and physician through electronic or other means of communication. Confusing language regarding “direct supervision” and differing rules for inpatient and outpatient supervision have been removed.
- Removal of confusing “facilitating referral” language
- PAs will now be permitted to refer patients, rather than “facilitate” referrals.
- Prescribing the use of patient restraints.
- PAs will now be permitted to prescribe patient restraints.
- Until now, Medicare regulations were seen as prohibitive of a PA’s ability to order patient restraints.
- Proper identification
- PAs will now be permitted to wear an ID tag that states “PA-C” or “PA”.
- Until now, only “physician assistant” was permissible.
- Removal of temporary licenses
- PAs will no longer be required to obtain a temporary license while waiting to take the PANCE and become NCCPA certified.
This law took effect on August 1, 2016. Please note that the law is superceded by state regulations and, as such, the rules that govern PA practice in NJ will not change until new regulations are adopted by the Board of Medical Examiners (BME). NJSSPA is currently working with the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee and the BME to enact updated regulations as quickly as possible.