Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text


Implementation of Periodic Review for Chapter 50
Stage: Fast-Track
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:




"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 one or more patient care team physicians or podiatrists and the physician assistant that defines the relationship between the physician assistant and the physicians or podiatrists, the prescriptive authority of the physician assistant, and the circumstances under which a physician or podiatrist will see and evaluate the patient.

18VAC85-50-30 Public participation guidelines.  (Repealed.)

A separate board regulation, 18VAC85-11, provides for involvement of the public in the development of all regulations of the Virginia Board of Medicine.

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 2021, 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 issued pursuant to § 54.1-2951.3 of the Code of Virginia 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 reinstatement of a license pursuant to § 54.1-2408.2 of the Code of Virginia shall be $2,000.

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

7. The handling fee for a returned check or a dishonored credit card or debit card shall be $50.

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

9. The fee for an application or for the biennial renewal of a restricted volunteer license pursuant to 18VAC85-50-61 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.

18VAC85-50-56 Renewal of license

A. Every licensed physician assistant intending to continue to practice shall biennially renew the license in each odd numbered year in the licensee's birth month by:

1. Returning the renewal form and fee as prescribed by the board; and

2. Verifying compliance with continuing medical education standards established by the NCCPA.

B. Any physician assistant who allows his NCCPA certification to lapse shall be considered not licensed by the board. Any such physician assistant who proposes to resume his practice shall make a new application for licensure.

18VAC85-50-59 Registration for voluntary practice by out-of-state licensees

Any physician assistant who does not hold a license to practice in Virginia and who seeks registration to practice under subdivision 27 of § 54.1-2901 of the Code of Virginia on a voluntary basis under the auspices of a publicly supported, all volunteer, nonprofit organization that sponsors the provision of health care to populations of underserved people shall:

1. File a complete application for registration on a form provided by the board at least five business days prior to engaging in such practice. An incomplete application will not be considered;

2. Provide a complete record of professional licensure in each state in which he has held a license and a copy of any current license;

3. Provide the name of the nonprofit organization, the dates and location of the voluntary provision of services; and

4. Pay a registration fee of $10; and

5. Provide a notarized statement from a representative of the nonprofit organization attesting to its compliance with provisions of subdivision 27 of § 54.1-2901 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC85-50-61 Restricted volunteer license

A. A physician assistant who held an unrestricted license issued by the Virginia Board of Medicine or by a board in another state as a licensee in good standing at the time the license expired or became inactive may be issued a restricted volunteer license to practice without compensation in a clinic that is organized in whole or in part for the delivery of health care services without charge in accordance with § 54.1-106 of the Code of Virginia.

B. To be issued a restricted volunteer license, a physician assistant shall submit an application to the board that documents compliance with requirements of § 54.1-2928.1 of the Code of Virginia and the application fee prescribed in 18VAC85-50-35.

C. The licensee who intends to continue practicing with a restricted volunteer license shall renew biennially during his birth month, meet the continued competency requirements prescribed in subsection D of this section, and pay to the board the renewal fee prescribed in 18VAC85-50-35.

D. The holder of a restricted volunteer license shall not be required to attest to hours of continuing education for the first renewal of such a license. For each renewal thereafter, the licensee shall attest to obtaining 50 hours of continuing education during the biennial renewal period with at least 25 hours in Type 1 and no more than 25 hours in Type 2 as acceptable to the NCCPA.

18VAC85-50-101 Requirements for a practice agreement

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

1. 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 physicians or podiatrists, the nature of the treatment, special procedures, and the nature of the physicians' or podiatrists' availability in ensuring direct physician or podiatrist involvement at an early stage and regularly thereafter.

2. 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 physicians or podiatrists shall review the record of services rendered by the physician assistant.

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

B. The board may require information regarding the degree of collaboration and consultation by the patient care team physicians or podiatrists. The board may also require a patient care team physician or podiatrist to document the physician assistant's competence in performing such tasks.

C. If the role of the physician 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 patient care team physicians or podiatrists.

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 consultation and collaboration, authorization, or scope of practice, a revised practice agreement shall be entered into at the time of the change.

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 patient care team physicians or podiatrists as prescribed in the physician assistant's practice agreement. When a physician assistant is working outside the scope of specialty of the patient care team physicians or podiatrists, 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 an alternate patient care team physician or podiatrist.

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. If, due to illness, vacation, or unexpected absence, a patient care team physician or podiatrist or alternate physician or podiatrist is unable to supervise the activities of collaborate or consult with his physician assistant, such patient care team physician or podiatrist 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.

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

1. No physician assistant may render care to a patient unless the physician or podiatrist responsible for that patient is available for collaboration and consultation with that physician assistant.

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.

D. 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.

18VAC85-50-116 Volunteer restricted license for certain physician assistants.  (Repealed.)

The issuance of a volunteer restricted license and the practice of a physician assistant under such a license shall be in accordance with the provisions of ยง 54.1-2951.3 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC85-50-178 Practitioner-patient communication

A. Except as provided in § 32.1-127.1:03 F of the Code of Virginia, a practitioner shall accurately inform a patient or his legally authorized representative of his medical diagnoses, prognosis and prescribed treatments or plans of care in understandable terms. A practitioner shall not deliberately make a false or misleading statement regarding the practitioner's skill or the efficacy or value of a medication, treatment, or procedure prescribed or directed by the practitioner in the treatment of any disease or condition.

B. A practitioner shall present information relating to the patient's care to a patient or his legally authorized representative in understandable terms and encourage participation in the decisions regarding the patient's care and shall refer to or consult with other health care professionals if so indicated.

C. Before surgery or any invasive procedure is performed, informed consent shall be obtained from the patient in accordance with the policies of the health care entity. Practitioners shall inform patients of the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the recommended surgery or invasive procedure that a reasonably prudent practitioner in similar practice in Virginia would tell a patient.

1. In the instance of a minor or a patient who is incapable of making an informed decision on his own behalf or is incapable of communicating such a decision due to a physical or mental disorder, the legally authorized person available to give consent shall be informed and the consent documented.

2. An exception to the requirement for consent prior to performance of surgery or an invasive procedure may be made in an emergency situation when a delay in obtaining consent would likely result in imminent harm to the patient.

3. For the purposes of this provision, "invasive procedure" means any diagnostic or therapeutic procedure performed on a patient that is not part of routine, general care and for which the usual practice within the health care entity is to document specific informed consent from the patient or surrogate decision maker prior to proceeding.

18VAC85-50-180 Vitamins, minerals and food supplements.  (Repealed.)

A. The recommendation or direction for the use of vitamins, minerals or food supplements and the rationale for that recommendation shall be documented by the practitioner. The recommendation or direction shall be based upon a reasonable expectation that such use will result in a favorable patient outcome, including preventive practices, and that a greater benefit will be achieved than that which can be expected without such use.

B. Vitamins, minerals, or food supplements, or a combination of the three, shall not be sold, dispensed, recommended, prescribed, or suggested in doses that would be contraindicated based on the individual patient's overall medical condition and medications.

C. The practitioner shall conform to the standards of his particular branch of the healing arts in the therapeutic application of vitamins, minerals or food supplement therapy.

18VAC85-50-181 Pharmacotherapy for weight loss.  (Repealed.)

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 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.

18VAC85-50-182 Anabolic steroids.  (Repealed.)

A physician assistant shall not prescribe or administer anabolic steroids to any patient for other than accepted therapeutic purposes.