State Sen. Joe Pittman has introduced legislation to support the work and practice of physician assistants in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania state capitol building is seen. (AP/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke

State Senate approves Pittman’s bills to modernize legislation for physician assistants working in Pennsylvania

Natalie Kapustik, The Center Square July 02, 07:00 PM July 02, 07:01 PM

State Sen. Joe Pittman has introduced legislation to support the work and practice of physician assistants in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 397 amends the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act and Senate Bill 398 amends the Medical Practice Act of 1985. He said modernizing these bills will encourage more physician assistants to stay and practice in the Commonwealth.

One of the changes in the new legislation will allow a written agreement to be “filed” instead of “approved” by the Medical and Osteopathic Boards. This will allow physician assistants to immediately begin working instead of waiting 120 days or longer for the Medical Boards’ review and approval.

“Pennsylvania is one of the premier states for physician assistant education with more than 20 programs currently in the state. While many physician assistants receive their education from programs here, current legislation makes it less appealing for them to stay in Pennsylvania,” Pittman said. “These bills provide reforms that will encourage more physician assistants to practice in the Commonwealth, which will enhance the diverse range of medical professionals across our healthcare delivery system.”

The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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