Physician Assistants In Kansas Must Be Aware Of New Regulations

On January 11, 2016, amendments to the regulations governing physician assistants in Kansas became effective. Generally speaking, the new regulations permit greater flexibility to physician assistants in some aspects while placing greater responsibility on the attending physician. The goal of the amendments is better patient care. Being aware of the changes is vitally important to both the physician and the physician’s assistant. Failing to follow the new changes may jeopardize your physician assistant’s license. Kansas professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger stakes her reputation on fighting for licensees who are facing the specter of discipline.

The new amendments to the regulations governing physician assistants introduce a series of definitions for terms of art currently used in the profession to describe the relationship between a physician’s assistant and the supervising physician. For instance, the amendments define “supervision” as overseeing delegated medical care to the physician’s assistant. A substitute supervising physician is defined as the physician who agrees to take a supervisory role of the physician’s assistant when the primary supervising physician is unavailable. The phrase “different practice location” is a place where medical treatment is dispensed to patients where the supervising physician or substitute supervising physician practices less than 20% of the time. A medical care facility is exempted from this definition. “Direct supervision” is defined in the amendments as the supervising or substitute supervising physician being physically present and able to take over immediate care of the patient if so required. This is in contrast to the situation when the supervising physician is communicating with the physician’s assistant telephonically or via electronic communication.  That method of supervision is defined as “off-site supervision.” However, “indirect supervision” means that the supervising physician or substitute supervising physician can be on site to take over care of the patient in 15 minutes or less.

The amendments to the regulations define the limits on the scope of a physician assistant’s practice. The regulations allow a physician assistant to administer medical treatment to a patient when the supervising physician or substitute supervising physician authorizes and coordinates such treatment when the supervisor is physically present.  The physician assistant is also allowed to treat a patient when authorized and coordinated with the supervisor through “verbal or electronic communication.” The physician assistant may also render care to a patient consistent with the active practice request form which is required to be filed with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Lastly, the physician assistant may medically treat a patient in an emergency situation.

The physician assistant must file an active practice request form with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. The physician assistant must disclose a significant amount of information on the active practice request form. Information such as identifying supervising and substitute supervising physicians, a disclosure of the nature of the medical services to be provided, and whether the supervising physicians will be present at the same location as the physician assistant. If not, the physician assistant must state that they have practiced at least 80 hours under the direct supervision of the supervising physician. The physician assistant and the supervising physician must also file a written agreement with the active practice request form. The agreement must contain a list of services the physician assistant may and may not perform. A list of prescription drugs the physician assistant is authorized to dispense must also be included in the agreement.  The practice request form must also memorialize the physician’s and substitute physician’s consent to be available for communication with the physician assistant during business hours.  It is important to note that the active request form must be filed with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts on or before July 1, 2016.

For More Information, Contact the Sanger Law Office Now

Keeping current in your field of practice is vital to satisfying the ethical standards of a physician assistant. It is critical, therefore, that you read and understand your obligations as a physician assistant. Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger advises physician assistants and other medical arts practitioners. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 for your no-obligation consultation.