Big News for OTP in North Dakota
The ND Academy of PAs Board of Directors is thrilled to pass on some important news from our meeting with ND Board of Medicine (NDBOM) last Friday. The NDAPA has been working with the NDBOM on achieving Optimal Team Practice (OTP) for PAs and at their meeting on Friday, the NDBOM unanimously approved to support PAs in the upcoming legislative session in our efforts! Specifically, the NDAPA is pursuing the following:
Supervisory agreements currently mandatory for licensure in North Dakota will no longer be required. This means that PA’s will be responsible for the care they provide.
- This is a HUGE change for our practices and profession. It better aligns us in practice for those employers that don’t even consider PAs due to supervisory agreement issues.
- The NDAPA and PAs in North Dakota will still do what they have always done and practice in the team model. We are not looking to be “independent providers”, rather we want to be able to practice where we are needed.
- One concession that was a deal-breaker for the NDBOM was that PAs would need to practice at clinics, hospitals and physician offices that are established or meet certain criteria. The NDBOM concern was that PAs would pursue privately owned clinics for things such as cosmetic dermatology, medi-spas, etc.
- A PA may still be able to operate a clinic or practice of their own but would need approval from the NDBOM to do so.
- This concession was felt to be a reasonable request as we are trying to get PAs in areas that need providers in primary care.
- If we are able to get this legislation passed through the legislature, North Dakota will be the first in the nation where a PA can practice medicine without a supervisory or collaborative agreement with a physician.
So what it is next?
- We are waiting to hear back from the ND Medical Association on whether they will also support us in our efforts. Their board meets at the beginning of December. Their support would be a phenomenal step towards our end goals.
- We are finalizing the proposed legislation and are seeking sponsors in the ND Legislature. We have a few names that will likely be willing, but if you know of any legislators that would be willing to do so, please let us know.
- In the next week or two, we will be sending out a form for signatures of support from physicians in ND. This form will be sent to all PAs in ND. This is where we need your help: find physicians that are in support of these changes and have them commit to their support by signing the form.
- Once we have a submitted bill, we will need all PAs to contact their local legislators and let them who we are and what this legislation would mean for the people of their districts and PAs in ND.
We will keep you informed of our progress and please let us know if you have any questions or ideas (firstname.lastname@example.org or cell #701-361-4074) .
Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!
Jay R. Metzger, PA-C