Statewide Healthcare Organization Calls on New York State to Modernize PA Practice

By NYSSPA | May 6, 2024

Assemblymember Amy Paulin and Senator Rachel May introduce legislation to strengthen New York State’s healthcare workforce

NEW YORK STATE – The New York State Society of PAs (NYSSPA) is urging the state legislature to modernize PA practice and pass critical legislation that will strengthen New York’s healthcare workforce. If passed, A.8378/S.9038 will significantly enhance patient access to the high-quality care provided by PAs by allowing PAs who have more than 8000 hours of experience to care for patients in Article 28 spaces without physician supervision. This will enable PAs in New York State to practice to the fullest extent of their education, training, and experience.

“New York’s healthcare system requires modernization to reflect the current role of PAs on healthcare teams. PAs are a well-established, proven workforce, consistently delivering healthcare services to patients throughout the state, often serving as their primary care provider. Throughout the pandemic we saw the difference an empowered PA workforce made to increasing access to timely care. PAs delivered high-quality care within the bounds of their education and training, effectively meeting the growing needs of patients,” said Edward Mathes, PA-C, DFAAPA, President of New York State Society of PAs.

In the more than 50 years since New York State began officially recognized PAs in 1972, the dynamic of healthcare teams has changed. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shortage of healthcare workers, New York State took action and empowered its PA workforce, via Executive Orders 202 and 4, lifting the requirement for physician supervision. For more than three years, PAs filled critical workforce gaps and the concept of team-based healthcare evolved in New York State – until those executive orders ended as did the public health emergency.

“The role of PAs on healthcare teams has changed,” Mathes continued. “It only makes sense that governing policy evolves as well. Lawmakers have the ability to immediately strengthen New York’s healthcare system by supporting this important legislation and removing administrative burdens to PA practice. New York State PAs are ready.”

Currently there are nearly 20,000 PAs licensed in New York State providing preventive health services, diagnosing illnesses, developing and managing treatment plans, prescribing medications, and often serving as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. PAs practice in primary care, all surgical specialties, critical care, rural health, hospice, telehealth, palliative medicine, and mental health.