A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Physician Assistants’ Enhanced Role in New Jersey requires Proper Supervision

By on October 11, 2016 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Earlier this year, the State of New Jersey enacted amendments to the statutes governing the scope of practice of physician assistants (“PA”). Although there are likely State Board of Medical Examiner regulations forthcoming to provide further clarity on PA practice, the new statutes provide more autonomy to PA’s, which can be a both a boon and a detriment to physicians.

For example, under the new statute, PA’s can:

  1. Provide services delegated to them by the physician in addition to those listed in the regulations, appropriate to the PA’s level of experience and competence.
  2. Prescribe medications without countersignature by a physician. The supervising physician’s name no longer appears on the PA’s prescription blanks.
  3. Receive drug samples and distribute those to patients.

The increased role of PA’s requires a heightened level of communication between the physician and the PA.  The physician must fully understand the experience and competence of his or her PA and establish a routine for frequent evaluation of the PA’s performance and patient files.  In the event of a claim for medical malpractice against the PA, a claim for negligent supervision will most likely be filed against the physician also.  Under the statute, failure to properly supervise can lead to professional discipline against the physician, as well as the PA.

To learn more about this very important subject, please attend our “Hot Topics in Healthcare Law” 2016 Breakfast Series entitled “Working with Non-Physician Practitioners.”

Sheila Mints

About the Author

About the Author:

Ms. Mints specializes in healthcare transactional matters, including shareholder and employment agreements, purchases and sales of medical practices, including ACO transactions, and practice mergers. Ms. Mints acts as general counsel to many large practices and ambulatory care facilities, assisting with transactional, tax, human resources mattes and negotiation with payors and vendors. An experienced tax lawyer, Ms. Mints represents her clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the federal Tax Court and state taxation departments in a variety of tax matters.


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