Healthcare is changing at a rapid pace and PA laws aren’t keeping up. Over the last two years, NCAPA leaders have been working diligently to craft legislation advancing Optimal Team Practice (OTP) in North Carolina.
As of Wednesday, March 24, 2021, we are proud to announce that state Senators Jim Perry, Michael Lee, and Todd Johnson have introduced Senate Bill 345, legislation that will modernize PA practice in North Carolina and advance OTP.
Is anyone else supporting the bill?
NCAPA worked on the introduction of this bill alongside the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS), who is also supporting this legislation.
What does the bill do?
SB345 would ensure that North Carolina remains the best place to practice as a PA. OTP will keep PAs accountable for the care they provide and will keep team-based, collaborative care at the center of patient care and medical decision-making.
The major provisions of the legislation are:
- Establishing a supervised career entry interval of 4,000 clinical hours upon entry into practice for new PAs, and a training interval of 1,000 hours if a PA changes specialty;
- Defining team-based settings as physician-owned practices, medical practices, and licensed health facilities;
- Eliminating the legal requirement for experienced PAs to have a specific relationship with a physician when working in a team-based settings; and
- Requiring PAs to collaborate, consult with, or refer to the appropriate member of the health care team as indicated by the condition of the patient, the education, experience, and competence of the Physician Assistant, and the applicable standard of care;
How can I get involved?
In the coming weeks and months as SB345 progresses through the legislature, we will continue to update you on its status. We plan to launch an advocacy campaign this spring providing you with several opportunities to make your voice heard in support of this key PA legislation. Please keep an eye out for these announcements.
How did NCAPA get here?
In 2018, NCAPA traveled across the state to share information and listen to thoughts and concerns PAs have regarding OTP. These listening sessions provided an excellent opportunity for NCAPA leadership to hear directly from PAs in North Carolina. Through those sessions, we learned:
- PAs overwhelmingly support OTP and want NCAPA to work toward modernizing our practice laws.
- PAs take immense pride in their profession and are dedicated to ensuring NC is the best place to practice as a PA.
- PAs are committed to working in healthcare teams, and Optimal Team Practice aligns with that commitment.
- PAs care deeply for their patients and don’t want legislative or regulatory limitations to come between them and providing the best care for their patients.
Based on PA input in North Carolina, NCAPA began working with stakeholders to develop support and craft OTP legislation, SB345.
Ultimately, our goal is that this work will result in a modern practice environment emphasizing team-based care and ensures North Carolina is the best state to be a PA.