Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Emergency Text

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Action:
Practice with patient care team physician
Stage: Emergency/NOIRA
8/7/19  12:04 PM

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC85-50-10. Definitions.

A. The following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in § 54.1-2900 of the Code of Virginia:

"Board."

"Collaboration"

"Consultation"

"Patient care team physician"

"Patient care team podiatrist"

"Physician assistant."

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Group practice" means the practice of a group of two or more doctors of medicine, osteopathy, or podiatry licensed by the board who practice as a partnership or professional corporation.

"Institution" means a hospital, nursing home or other health care facility, community health center, public health center, industrial medicine or corporation clinic, a medical service facility, student health center, or other setting approved by the board.

"NCCPA" means the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

"Practice agreement" means a written or electronic agreement developed by the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist and the physician assistant that defines the supervisory relationship between the physician assistant and the physician or podiatrist, the prescriptive authority of the physician assistant, and the circumstances under which the physician or podiatrist will see and evaluate the patient.

"Supervision" means the supervising physician has on-going, regular communication with the physician assistant on the care and treatment of patients, is easily available, and can be physically present or accessible for consultation with the physician assistant within one hour.

18VAC85-50-35. Fees.

Unless otherwise provided, the following fees shall not be refundable:

1. The initial application fee for a license, payable at the time application is filed, shall be $130.

2. The biennial fee for renewal of an active license shall be $135 and for renewal of an inactive license shall be $70, payable in each odd-numbered year in the birth month of the licensee. For 2019, the fee for renewal of an active license shall be $108, and the fee for renewal of an inactive license shall be $54.

3. The additional fee for late renewal of licensure within one renewal cycle shall be $50.

4. A restricted volunteer license shall expire 12 months from the date of issuance and may be renewed without charge by receipt of a renewal application that verifies that the physician assistant continues to comply with provisions of § 54.1-2951.3 of the Code of Virginia.

5. The fee for review and approval of a new protocol submitted following initial licensure shall be $15.

6. The fee for reinstatement of a license pursuant to § 54.1-2408.2 of the Code of Virginia shall be $2,000.

7. 6. The fee for a duplicate license shall be $5.00, and the fee for a duplicate wall certificate shall be $15.

8. 7. The fee for a returned check shall be $35.

9. 8. The fee for a letter of good standing or verification to another jurisdiction shall be $10.

10. 9. The fee for an application or for the biennial renewal of a restricted volunteer license shall be $35, due in the licensee's birth month. An additional fee for late renewal of licensure shall be $15 for each renewal cycle.

Part II
Requirements for Practice as a Physician's Assistant

18VAC85-50-40. General requirements.

A. No person shall practice as a physician assistant in the Commonwealth of Virginia except as provided in this chapter.

B. All services rendered by a physician assistant shall be performed only under the continuous supervision of a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or podiatry licensed by this board to practice in the Commonwealth.

18VAC85-50-57. Discontinuation of employment.

If for any reason the assistant discontinues working in the employment and under the supervision of a licensed practitioner with a patient care team physician or podiatrist, a new practice agreement shall be entered into in order for the assistant either to be reemployed by the same practitioner or to accept new employment with another supervising physician patient care team physician or podiatrist.

Part IV
Practice Requirements

18VAC85-50-101. Requirements for a practice agreement.

A. Prior to initiation of practice, a physician assistant and his supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist shall enter into a written or electronic practice agreement that spells out the roles and functions of the assistant and is consistent with provisions of § 54.1-2952 of the Code of Virginia.

1. The supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist shall be a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or podiatry licensed in the Commonwealth who has accepted responsibility for the supervision of the service that a physician assistant renders.

2. Any such practice agreement shall take into account such factors as the physician assistant's level of competence, the number of patients, the types of illness treated by the physician, the nature of the treatment, special procedures, and the nature of the physician availability in ensuring direct physician involvement at an early stage and regularly thereafter.

3. The practice agreement shall also provide an evaluation process for the physician assistant's performance, including a requirement specifying the time period, proportionate to the acuity of care and practice setting, within which the supervising physician or podiatrist shall review the record of services rendered by the physician assistant.

4. The practice agreement may include requirements for periodic site visits by supervising licensees who supervise and direct patient care team physician or podiatrist to collaborate and consult with physician assistants who provide services at a location other than where the licensee physician or podiatrist regularly practices.

B. The board may require information regarding the level degree of supervision collaboration and consultation with which the supervising by the patient care team physician or podiatrist plans to supervise the physician assistant for selected tasks. The board may also require the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist to document the assistant's competence in performing such tasks.

C. If the role of the assistant includes prescribing drugs and devices, the written practice agreement shall include those schedules and categories of drugs and devices that are within the scope of practice and proficiency of the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist.

D. If the initial practice agreement did not include prescriptive authority, there shall be an addendum to the practice agreement for prescriptive authority.

E. If there are any changes in supervision consultation and collaboration, authorization, or scope of practice, a revised practice agreement shall be entered into at the time of the change.

18VAC85-50-110. Responsibilities of the supervisor patient care team physician or podiatrist.

The supervising physician patient care team physician or podiatrist shall:

1. Review the clinical course and treatment plan for any patient who presents for the same acute complaint twice in a single episode of care and has failed to improve as expected. The supervising physician or podiatrist shall be involved with any patient with a continuing illness as noted in the written or electronic practice agreement for the evaluation process.

2. Be responsible for all invasive procedures.

a. Under supervision, a physician assistant may insert a nasogastric tube, bladder catheter, needle, or peripheral intravenous catheter, but not a flow-directed catheter, and may perform minor suturing, venipuncture, and subcutaneous intramuscular or intravenous injection.

b. All other invasive procedures not listed in subdivision 2 a of this section must be performed under supervision with the physician in the room unless, after directly observing the performance of a specific invasive procedure three times or more, the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist attests on the practice agreement to the competence of the physician assistant to perform the specific procedure without direct observation and supervision.

3. Be responsible for all prescriptions issued by the physician assistant and attest to the competence of the assistant to prescribe drugs and devices.

4. Be available at all times to collaborate and consult with the physician assistant.

18VAC85-50-115. Responsibilities of the physician assistant.

A. The physician assistant shall not render independent health care and shall:

1. Perform only those medical care services that are within the scope of the practice and proficiency of the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist as prescribed in the physician assistant's practice agreement. When a physician assistant is to be supervised by an alternate supervising physician working outside the scope of specialty of the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist, then the physician assistant's functions shall be limited to those areas not requiring specialized clinical judgment, unless a separate practice agreement has been executed for that alternate supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist is approved and on file with the board.

2. Prescribe only those drugs and devices as allowed in Part V (18VAC85-50-130 et seq.) of this chapter.

3. Wear during the course of performing his duties identification showing clearly that he is a physician assistant.

B. An alternate supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist shall be a member of the same group or professional corporation or partnership of any licensee who supervises is the patient care team physician for a physician assistant or shall be a member of the same hospital or commercial enterprise with the supervising patient care team physician. Such alternating supervising physician shall be a physician licensed in the Commonwealth who has registered with the board and who has accepted responsibility for the supervision of the service that a physician assistant renders.

C. If, due to illness, vacation, or unexpected absence, the supervising patient care team physician or alternate supervising physician is unable to supervise the activities of his physician assistant, such supervising patient care team physician may temporarily delegate the responsibility to another doctor of medicine, osteopathic medicine, or podiatry.

Temporary coverage may not exceed four weeks unless special permission is granted by the board.

D. With respect to physican assistants employed by institutions, the following additional regulations shall apply:

1. No physician assistant may render care to a patient unless the physician responsible for that patient has signed the practice agreement to act as supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist for that assistant. The board shall make available appropriate forms for physicians or podiatrists to join the practice agreement for an assistant employed by an institution.

2. Any such practice agreement as described in subdivision 1 of this subsection shall delineate the duties which said patient care team physician or podiatrist authorizes the physician assistant to perform.

3. The assistant shall, as soon as circumstances may dictate, report an acute or significant finding or change in clinical status to the supervising physician concerning the examination of the patient. The assistant shall also record his findings in appropriate institutional records.

E. Practice by a physician assistant in a hospital, including an emergency department, shall be in accordance with § 54.1-2952 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC85-50-117. Authorization to use fluoroscopy.

A physician assistant working under the supervision of a practice agreement with a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy specializing in the field of radiology is authorized to use fluoroscopy for guidance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures provided such activity is specified in his protocol and he has met the following qualifications:

1. Completion of at least 40 hours of structured didactic educational instruction and at least 40 hours of supervised clinical experience as set forth in the Fluoroscopy Educational Framework for the Physician Assistant created by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT); and

2. Successful passage of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Fluoroscopy Examination.

Part V
Prescriptive Authority

18VAC85-50-130. Qualifications for approval of prescriptive authority.

An applicant for prescriptive authority shall meet the following requirements:

1. Hold a current, unrestricted license as a physician assistant in the Commonwealth;

2. Submit a practice agreement acceptable to the board as prescribed in 18VAC85-50-101. This practice agreement must be approved by the board prior to issuance of prescriptive authority and § 54.1-2952.1 of the Code of Virginia; and

3. Submit evidence of successful passing of the NCCPA exam; and

4. Submit evidence of successful completion of a minimum of 35 hours of acceptable training to the board in pharmacology.

18VAC85-50-140. Approved drugs and devices.

A. The approved drugs and devices which the physician assistant with prescriptive authority may prescribe, administer, or dispense manufacturer's professional samples shall be in accordance with provisions of § 54.1-2952.1 of the Code of Virginia:

B. The physician assistant may prescribe only those categories of drugs and devices included in the practice agreement as submitted for authorization. The supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist retains the authority to restrict certain drugs within these approved categories.

C. The physician assistant, pursuant to § 54.1-2952.1 of the Code of Virginia, shall only dispense manufacturer's professional samples or administer controlled substances in good faith for medical or therapeutic purposes within the course of his professional practice.

18VAC85-50-160. Disclosure.

A. Each prescription for a Schedule II through V drug shall bear the name of the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist and of the physician assistant.

B. The physician assistant shall disclose to the patient that he is a licensed physician assistant, and also the name, address and telephone number of the supervising patient care team physician or podiatrist. Such disclosure shall either be included on the prescription or be given in writing to the patient.

18VAC85-50-181. Pharmacotherapy for weight loss.

A. A practitioner shall not prescribe amphetamine, Schedule II, for the purpose of weight reduction or control.

B. A practitioner shall not prescribe controlled substances, Schedules III through VI, for the purpose of weight reduction or control in the treatment of obesity, unless the following conditions are met:

1. An appropriate history and physical examination are performed and recorded at the time of initiation of pharmacotherapy for obesity by the prescribing physician, and the physician reviews the results of laboratory work, as indicated, including testing for thyroid function;

2. If the drug to be prescribed could adversely affect cardiac function, the physician shall review the results of an electrocardiogram performed and interpreted within 90 days of initial prescribing for treatment of obesity;

3. A diet and exercise program for weight loss is prescribed and recorded;

4. The patient is seen within the first 30 days following initiation of pharmacotherapy for weight loss, by the prescribing physician or a licensed practitioner with prescriptive authority working under the supervision of the prescribing physician, at which time a recording shall be made of blood pressure, pulse, and any other tests as may be necessary for monitoring potential adverse effects of drug therapy; and

5. The treating physician shall direct the follow-up care, including the intervals for patient visits and the continuation of or any subsequent changes in pharmacotherapy. Continuation of prescribing for treatment of obesity shall occur only if the patient has continued progress toward achieving or maintaining a target weight and has no significant adverse effects from the prescribed program.

C. If specifically authorized in his practice agreement with a supervising patient care team physician, a physician assistant may perform the physical examination, review tests, and prescribe Schedules III through VI controlled substances for treatment of obesity as specified in subsection B of this section.