PA scope of practice laws vary throughout the country. In this series, we will outline physician assistant scope of practice laws across all of the United States. Be sure to check back every month as we make our way state-by-state, highlighting what you need to know about each state’s unique practice laws.
PAs in New York are generally able to practice independently. Apart from limitations on the number of PAs allowed to practice at once and collaboration requirements, restrictions are few and far between.
To provide you with as much information as possible, below you will find the “6 Key Elements for PA practice” of the AAPA as well as other New York specific scope of practice information for PAs. Also in this article, you will find information about OTP (Optimal Team Practice), which is projected to affect New York in the future.
Six Key Elements for PA Practice
Licensure as Regulatory Term: Yes
You must have an active license in the state of New York in order to practice.
- If you do not have a New York license, it is possible to obtain one within, on average, 6-8 weeks.
- Here at Barton Associates, we have a dedicated licensing team that will assist you through the process.
Full Rx: Yes
A PA may prescribe schedule II-V controlled medications as well as all non-controlled medication in New York.
- Examples of Schedule II-V controlled medications include oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone.
Scope Determined at the Practice Site: Yes
The facility will approve a PA’s scope of practice in the facility based on criteria including, but not limited to, the PA’s experience, education, and physician delegation.
- Although the state of New York sets the PA scope of practice laws/regulations, this key element gives the practice the sole determination of the scope of which they will allow the PA to practice.
Adaptable Supervision/ Collaboration Requirements: Yes
Physician collaboration is required for all PAs to ensure all members of the healthcare team are performing duties they are licensed and authorized to do.
Chart Cosignature Determined at Practice Level: Yes
Requirements regarding chart cosigning will be determined at the practice level.
- Across the country, this requirement is decided either by the state or by the individual healthcare facility. New York facilities get to decide the requirement without interference from the state.
Physician May Practice with Unlimited Number of PAs: No
New York physicians may practice with up to four PAs at one time in a private practice and no more than six in a hospital setting.
- This limitation is not uncommon, as there are only 12 states that do not limit the amount of PAs with which a physician may practice.
- While this does limit the number of PAs that can work in one facility, it does ensure physicians can dedicate appropriate amounts of time to each PA under his/her supervision.
OTP (Optimal Team Practice)
All information below regarding OTP was collected from the AAPA. If you would like to read more, visit www.aapa.org/advocacy-central/optimal-team-practice/.
What is it?
- Optimal Team Practice occurs when PAs, physicians, and other healthcare professionals work together to provide quality care without burdensome administrative constraints.
What does OTP mean for the patient?
- When a PA isn’t legally tethered to a physician, PA employers (health systems, hospitals, and group practices) can be more flexible in determining healthcare teams.
- Allows healthcare teams to more effectively and efficiently meet patient needs.
- Opens up more options for patients to be seen by healthcare providers, such as PAs, especially in medically underserved communities where there are not enough physicians on staff.
- When disaster strikes, medical volunteers are vital resource to relief efforts. OTP allows PAs to provide volunteer medical services during a disaster or emergency.
What does OTP mean for me as a PA?
- Allows PAs to practice more independently by not requiring physicians to have a specific relationship with PAs.
- Healthcare teams can be determined on a case-by-case basis at the practice level, providing the opportunity for physicians to different PAs on different cases.
Allows physicians to work with PAs more easily when they are employed in hospitals, health systems, and other corporate structures that use staffing companies. Currently, PAs are often prevented from participating in these staffing arrangements since, unlike NPs, they are not eligible for direct payment, and, therefore, cannot reassign their insurance reimbursements to the staffing company.