Illinois loosens physician assistant collaboration limits
Illinois physicians will be allowed to collaborate with more physician assistants following Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s July 13, 2018 approval of Public Act 100-0605, which is likely to expand the use of PAs in the state.
PAs perform medical services in collaboration with physicians who can delegate a wide range of tasks and duties consistent with the PA’s education, training and experience. Each PA is required to enter into a written collaborative agreement with his or her collaborating physician except for services in a hospital, hospital affiliate or ambulatory surgery center.
Public Act 100-0605 will allow a physician to enter into collaborative agreements with up to seven full-time equivalent PAs, an increase from the current cap of five full-time PAs. Furthermore, physicians will be allowed to collaborate with more than seven PAs when the PA’s services are provided in certain federal primary care health professional shortage areas.
Physicians and PAs, however, should not lose sight of the need to ensure adequate collaboration and avoid an excessive number of collaborative relationships. This legislation adds provisions to the Illinois Medical Practice Act and Physician Assistant Practice Act subjecting physicians and PAs to potential discipline for entering into an excessive number of written collaborative agreements that prevent adequate collaboration or for repeated failure to adequately collaborate.
Public Act 100-0605 takes effect January 1, 2019
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