I wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone on events that occurred yesterday in Jefferson City that effect the PAs of Missouri. Yesterday Governor Nixon signed into law several pieces of legislation that were passed during the 2014 legislative session. For PAs, this signing was a good news/not so good news event.
Governor Nixon signed into law Senate Bill 808 which included language that clears the path for PAs to be enrolled as Missouri Medicaid providers. We will be meeting with leaders from MO Medicaid next week to discuss the process by which they will begin enrolling PAs as Medicaid providers. This is very good news for those of us who see Medicaid patients as well as for employers who have clinics with a significant Medicaid population as we have identified this issue as one that has proved to be a barrier to PA hiring in certain settings. As we receive more information regarding the enrollment process, it will be distributed to all of you.
On a not so positive note, Governor Nixon also signed into law Senate Bill 754 which contained language calling for the Board of Healing Arts to license “assistant physicians”, medical school graduates who have not completed a residency. This has garnered quite a bit of state wide as well as national attention. I will list below the links to responses from AAPA, AAFP and AMA for you to review and possibly share with your physicians. This creation of a new “profession” is certainly not something we are celebrating but however, we will be using the attention and publicity it is getting to continue to promote, inform and work to improve the utilization of PAs in Missouri. We will continue to monitor the rule promulgation process for this new law as well as work to maintain the best, most open and productive communication between our organization and the Missouri legislature to ensure that we continue to identify better ways that PAs can work to help solve the identified healthcare issue of provider shortages. Please know that I, as well as the entire MOAPA board, will not rest until we feel that the PA profession is being used to its maximum capacity, both in numbers of PA working as well as practice scope to help serve the health care needs of Missouri.
This new law is somewhat unchartered waters, but as with anything we send out, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, concerns or comments about what is above or any PA issue. We are here to serve the PAs of Missouri and if you have a need or a question, we are here to provide the necessary answers or resources you require. Hope to see everyone in Branson next weekend, spaces are still available!!
Again, here are the links to review the responses from some of the national organizations.