Our government affairs committee has been hard at work advancing several legislative priorities this year. As you may be aware, the 2020 legislative session was shortened due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and as a result several important legislative items were left on the table by the Kentucky General Assembly. Furthermore, COVID-19 restrictions in the capitol have made this year’s advocacy efforts more challenging, which resulted in KAPA having to postpone its traditional Lobby Day event. Fortunately, we are aided by our amazing lobbyists at Top Shelf Lobby who have helped us to navigate a tricky session and keep PA issues top of mind for legislators.
We encourage PAs to reach out to their legislators in support of these bills! Who's My Legislator?
HB 419 CME Clean Up
When the General Assembly passed PA prescriptive authority in 2020, there was language in the legislation around the number of CME hours that would be required with prescriptive authority for controlled medications. While KAPA was able to work with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure on their interpretation of the hours, we have also worked to craft language that clarifies the number more explicitly in statute. Rep. Daniel Elliott (R-Danville) has introduced HB 419 in order to clarify CME requirements for controlled medication prescribing. This bill passed the House Health and Family Services committee on February 24th and awaits a vote in the full House.
SB 154 Home Health Bill
The bill would permit Physician Assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to refer to home health agencies. The law currently restricts referrals to physicians. Section 3708 of the CARES Act permanently authorizes APRNS and PAs to certify for home health services consistent with a state’s law. This bill has passed out of committee and is awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate.
SB 273 KBML Board Update
KAPA continues to pursue the AAPA elements of Optimal Team Practice. One legislative goal for this session is to include two physician assistants on the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure as voting members. Currently the KBML consists of 15 members, including the deans of each Kentucky Medical school, 7 MD physicians, 1 DO phsyciain, and 3 members of the public at large. While the KBML currently has a Physician Assistant Advisory committee, there is no formal voice on the KBML voting board for the Physician Assistant community.