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Three Common Requirements for Physician Assistant (PA) Supervision

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understanding-physician-employment-contracts-e1677703586595-300x197Our healthcare and business law firm works with many providers and medical practices to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.  Mid-level providers, such as physician assistants (“PAs”) and nurse practitioners, are widely used, and they help expand the provision of medical care and services. States differ on the amount of oversight that is required for PAs to practice.  This blog post outlines possible requirements that may be present in your state for PAs to practice under physician supervision, using Georgia as an example.  If you need assistance understanding your state’s guidance on mid-level supervision and delegation requirements or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

In Georgia, the rules governing PAs and their supervising physician include the following:

First, the Supervisory Relationship Must be Established:

Under Georgia Rule 360-5-.03, in order to supervise a PA, a supervising physician must submit an application to the Board that must be approved by the Board before delegating tasks. On the flip side, upon termination of the supervisory relationship, the PA and physician must give notice and date of termination. In the application, a job description must be included, under 360-5-.04,  which should be confined to activities within a PA’s scope of practice.  However, it is not necessary to include every activity the PA will perform.   If the PA will be performing any tasks outside of what is typically taught to PAs, the PA must to submit a “request for additional duties” form.

Second, The Job Description and Consultation Requirements:

The Georgia Medical Board’s templated job description is available here. The job description must include a provision for immediate consultation between the PA and the supervising physician (either primary or alternate). The supervising physician must be immediately available for direct communication by telephone or other means. A PA may only perform those tasks that are included in his/her job description currently on file with and approved by the Board; provided, however, that tasks outside the job description may be performed by the physician assistant under the direct supervision and in the presence of the supervising physician.

Third, The Supervising Physician Must Comply with the Review Requirements:

There are no specific requirements regarding charts that must be reviewed by the Supervising Physician for general duties performed by a PA, except for general requirements for PAs who are granted prescribing authority.   If the PA has the authority to prescribe, Rule 360-5-.12 (8) states, “The supervising physician shall periodically review patient records.  This review may be achieved by a sampling of such records as determined by the supervising physician.”   See also Georgia Code Section 43-34-103(e.1)(6).

This blog post outlines possible requirements that may be present in your state for PAs to practice with physician supervision, using Georgia as an example.  If you need assistance understanding your state’s guidance on mid-level supervision and delegation requirements or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

 

 

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