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Lawmakers Advance HAP-Supported Legislation to Bolster Physician Assistant Workforce

Legislation would extend critical COVID-19 regulatory waivers for hospitals and health systems

September 20, 2021

State lawmakers today advanced key legislation allowing physician assistants to practice to the full extent of their training while removing barriers that delay their entrance into the field.

This morning, the House Professional Licensure Committee unanimously advanced Senate Bills 397 and 398, sponsored by Senator Joe Pittman (R- Indiana).

The HAP-supported legislation would make permanent regulatory waivers that have been in place for more than a year following the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Declaration.

The legislation would:

  • Ensure physician assistants can practice immediately upon filing of an executed supervisory agreement, eliminating administrative approval delays that can extend 120 days or longer
  • Allow physicians to supervise up to six physician assistants
  • Give physician assistants and physicians more flexibility to decide how they want to work together in their daily practice
  • Place a physician assistant on the medical and osteopathic boards with a permanent seat

HAP has played an integral role in the advocacy for Senate Bills 397 and 398. The legislation empowers physician assistants to practice to the top of their licenses while giving health systems the ability to operate more efficiently. The legislation also comes at a critical time, as hospitals and health systems continue to address workforce shortages amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Senate Bills 397 and 398 move to the full House for consideration.

For more information about this legislation, contact Mary Marshall, HAP’s director, workforce and professional development, or Heather Tyler, vice president, state legislative advocacy.