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The Pulse

  • The Future of PA Practice in North Carolin

    NCAPA President Truett Smith writes to NC PAs regarding the 2017 AAPA House of Delegates and Optimal Team Practice:

    Dear North Carolina PA,

    A monumental event occurred recently in the 2017 AAPA House of Delegates. The Delegates passed Optimal Team Practice (OTP), a new policy intended to enhance the ability of PAs to meet the needs of patients and ensure the future of the profession in a changing healthcare marketplace. The House of Delegates is AAPA’s national policy making body. It is made up of elected delegates representing state and specialty organizations, federal service chapters, caucuses and students within our academy. This historic action comes during the 50th anniversary of the PA profession.

    Optimal Team Practice reemphasizes the PA profession’s commitment to team-based care and reaffirms that the degree of collaboration between PAs and physicians should be determined at the practice level. It also supports the removal of state laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice. In addition, the new policy advocates for the establishment of autonomous state boards with a majority of PAs as voting members to license, regulate and discipline PAs, or for PAs to be full voting members of medical boards. Finally, the policy says that PAs should be eligible to be reimbursed directly by public and private insurance for the care they provide.

    Each state PA chapter is now free to pursue changes to state laws and regulations as they see fit. The North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA) has not yet voted on or created a plan concerning the future of OTP in North Carolina. There is strength in numbers and any future changes in regulations will require the support of the majority of the PAs in our state. If you are not currently a member of the NCAPA, please consider joining. If you are an active member, thank you for your support.

    Together, we can prepare our profession for the next 50 years!
    Truett Smith, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
    NCAPA President

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