Newsletter

March 2015 Print

Vital Changes to PA Laws and Regulations

Vital Changes to the PA Laws and Regulations

The three key elements of modern PA practice acts we have determined would need to be the focus of our campaign for change are co-signature, schedule II prescriptive authority and expanding the SP/PA ratio.

Co-Signature: As one of the last three states with 100% co-signature, this was one of the first things we knew had to change. After discussing the current job disparity crisis that PAs are facing in the state with the members of the LSBME, they agreed unanimously to repeal co-signature. This is being replaced by a performance plan that the SP and PA will design together as a way to demonstrate meaningful supervision. This proposed regulation change was published in the Louisiana Register on February 19th, and, if unopposed, will replace the current co-signature requirement. We need to mail positive comments on this change to Rita Arceneaux at the LSBME to demonstrate not only what a large impact this will make to our profession, but also to let the LSBME how much we appreciate their willingness to work with us on this and other changes that will be necessary in the future.

Schedule II Rx Authority and Ratio Change: 41 out of the 50 states plus DC have schedule II prescriptive authority for their PAs. Once again we are one of the last states to attempt to change this restriction in our scope of practice. With the recent change by the DEA moving all hydrocodone products to Schedule II, this has become a huge issue for PAs across the state. Also, our current SP/PA ratio of 1:2, limits our ability to expand access to high-quality healthcare to the growing number of insured residents. Because this, and a specific ratio change, are written into the PA Practice Act, it cannot be changed through the LSBME, but must be changed through legislative action.  We have a proposed legislative change that is being filed as a bill for the upcoming Louisiana Legislative Session, sponsored by Senator Fred Mills. The leaders of the LAPA Legislative Action Team through the help of our lobbyists, Mapes and Mapes, have been meeting with physician groups and hospital organizations in the state to try and gain support for the needed changes. Now we must work on discussing it with the legislators on the Louisiana House of Representatives and Senate Health and Welfare Committees.

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Join Our Grassroots Campaign

The Power of Grassroots

So what is a grassroots campaign and why is it so important in the process of making the changes necessary for our profession? Even if the merits of our bill are intuitively obvious to you, legislators will not support it without ample evidence that it is important to the people that they have been elected to represent. The success of our bill will depend on activating grassroots constituents to contact their legislators in support of our legislation. This is called grassroots lobbying. Grassroots means citizen participation in government. People who study state legislatures report that term limits and the growing number of legislative proposals make grassroots lobbying increasingly important. This is our greatest chance to make these changes happen. Do you realize that when we went for our original prescriptive authority that we did not have support of many of the physician groups and organizations in this state? So how did we ever pass legislation for prescriptive authority? The answer is grassroots! The PAs and SPs flooded the legislators with calls, letters, emails, faxes and face to face meetings. We basically gave them no other option. This is what will be needed now. The regional ambassador in your area will be in charge of reaching out to you to initiate the different phases of our grassroots campaign, including phone calls, emails and letters to our local legislators. Now we are focused on the legislators on the Health and Welfare Committees but if you have a personal family friend that is a senator or representative, still reach out to them to discuss the importance of these changes. You never know how they might be able to help us! It will take every PA and SP using all of contacts and connections to make this happen. We will have to live and breath this for the next few months, but I promise you if we ban together and get everyone involved we will make this happen…..we will leave them no other option!!! So come and help the Legislative Action Team move our profession in this state forward to where it should be!

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Calendar of Events

Alexandria Region Legislative Appreciation Breakfast:

March 23rd, 2015   7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Bracato’s                           

5803 Coliseum Blvd. Alexandria, LA 71303

Baton Rouge Region Legislative Appreciation Breakfast:

March 24th, 2015 7:45 AM - 8:45 AM       

Baton Rouge Area Foundation                       

402 North 4th Street    Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Lafayette Region Legislative Appreciation Breakfast:

March 25th, 2015  7:30 AM - 9:00 AM     

Regional Medical Center of Acadiana, Room 2500      

4212 West Congress Street Lafayette, LA 70506

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