Utah Academy of Physician Assistants

Changes in the law for physician assistants

Posted 3 months ago by Bradley Pace

Changes in the Law for Physician Assistants

During the 2017 Legislative General Session, SB 162 was passed making a significant change in the Physician Assistant Practice Act UCA 58-70a-501 deleting subsection (2)(c) which required the supervising physician to cosign any medical chart record of a prescription for a schedule II or III controlled substance. Another change was in the Delegation of Services Agreement (DOSA) which was changed from chart review to quality review of patient data and documentation.

This change allows for a more independent relationship between the supervising physician and the physician assistant. The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) made the required changes to the Physician Assistant Practice Act Rule R156-70a and to the Delegation of Services Agreement between the physician and physician assistant. The updated DOSA as well as Notification of Change form are available on the DOPL PA website: https://dopl.utah.gov/pa/. The DOSA does not need to be sent to DOPL, it is to be maintained on site. The NOC does need to be sent to DOPL.

In 2016 the Physician Assistant Board ask for an informal legal opinion from the Utah Attorney General regarding the authority of a PA to sign a death certificate. In the opinion the Vital Statistics Act was reviewed and UCA 26-2-2(11) defined the “Health care professional” who may sign the death certificate as a physician or nurse practitioner (APRN).

The 2018 Utah Legislative General Session passed SB 68 amending the Vital Statistics Act to include Physician Assistant in the definition of “Health care professional”. A requirement was added to the act for the PA to complete an education program regarding the completion of a certificate of death developed by administrative rule by the Department of Health. This will be very helpful for practitioners in rural areas with limited providers. To learn more about the Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records their website is: https://vitalrecords.utah.gov/ .

Thank you for your service and care of Utah citizens, you are an integral part of excellent healthcare. If you have questions about your DOSA or NOC please call DOPL at 801-530-6628 or email B1@utah.gov.

Larry Marx

Bureau Manager Physician Assistants Licensing Board

Utah Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing