Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/01/2001 03:03 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 91-ADD PHYSICIAN ASST TO STATE MEDICAL BOARD                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON announced  that  first order  of  business would  be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 91, "An Act  relating to the membership and quorum                                                               
requirements of the State Medical Board."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0090                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGH  FATE came  forth as  sponsor of  HB 91.   He                                                               
stated to the committee:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill 91 is based  on a request brought forward by                                                                    
     the  Alaska  Academy  of  Physician  Assistants.    The                                                                    
     Alaska  State Medical  Board  supports  House Bill  91.                                                                    
     House Bill 91 adds  one licensed physician assistant to                                                                    
     the  State Medical  Board and  changes  the quorum  for                                                                    
     meetings, from four to five [members].                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Currently,  there  is  no  representation  of  physical                                                                    
     assistant   licensees  to   the   board,  even   though                                                                    
     consideration   of   physician   assistant   licensure,                                                                    
     regulations,  and   discipline  are   frequent  topics.                                                                    
     Physician   assistants   are   also   an   increasingly                                                                    
     significant   factor   in   providing   medical   care.                                                                    
     Participation   of   a    physician   assistant   would                                                                    
     strengthen  and support  the  State  Medical Board  and                                                                    
     contribute to its  decision-making process by providing                                                                    
     valuable  opinions  representing  a wider  spectrum  of                                                                    
     medical practitioners in Alaska.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked what  the fiscal note  amount would                                                               
be.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  answered  that  the fiscal  note  would  be                                                               
$3,000, which  entails per  diem and travel  for members  of that                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0282                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON asked  if anyone  has opposed,  or will  oppose, the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  responded that there  is no opposition.   He                                                               
stated that the  medical board licensure is for the  bill and the                                                               
medical association is neutral.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked if it is  reasonable to say that  the folks in                                                               
the medical community  have had a fair opportunity  to comment on                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FATE said that they have.   He said that the State                                                               
Medical Board, and the Physician  Assistant Association have gone                                                               
on record that they are in favor  of the bill.  He added that the                                                               
physician  assistants  have  been   participating  in  an  ad-hoc                                                               
position on  the medical board  for the  last four years  for two                                                               
reasons: to  get themselves up  to speed in order  to familiarize                                                               
themselves with  the medical board,  and to prove to  the medical                                                               
board that they can be part of that board in good conscious.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0409                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA asked why  it hasn't happened before, since                                                               
it seems like such a good idea.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE said  that there  has been  friction between                                                               
the medical  board and  an auxiliary  of the  healing profession.                                                               
He said  that he  served on  the Board  of Dental  Examiners when                                                               
hygienists first  appeared.  He  remarked that there  was natural                                                               
friction [at first], but then there was a real benefit.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0515                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM  WILSON, Physician  Assistant,  Alaska  Academy of  Physician                                                               
Assistants,  testified via  teleconference in  support of  HB 91.                                                               
He stated  that there have  been approximately 250  PAs (physical                                                               
assistants) licensed  in the  state for more  than 20  years, and                                                               
they currently have  no representation as licensees  on the State                                                               
Medical  Board.   He  said that  [PAs]  see approximately  50,000                                                               
Alaskans every month  for medical care.  He added  that the State                                                               
Medical Board voted  in Juneau on February 19, 2001,  in favor of                                                               
the addition of a physician assistant to the medical board.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON  expressed that this has  been a very long  process of                                                               
over  four  years of  having  a  PA  attend every  medical  board                                                               
meeting for the full two-day sessions.   He stated that this year                                                               
[the Alaska Academy of Physician  Assistants] has decided that it                                                               
has served its apprenticeship and  understands the commitment and                                                               
responsibilities of  being a member  of the State  Medical Board.                                                               
He said [PAs] feel that since  they have matured and developed an                                                               
extremely  good  relationship  with  the  medical  board  [it  is                                                               
reasonable] to ask  the state to change the statute  and add a PA                                                               
to the  medical board.  He  concluded that he thinks  the medical                                                               
board  is eager  to have  their  input because  they represent  a                                                               
large number of licensees as well as patients.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0663                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked whether [PAs]  practice under  the supervision                                                               
of a physician.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON answered  yes, that's by state law.   He said it's the                                                               
philosophy of a PA  to work in a PA/MD team.   By law, PAs cannot                                                               
practice medicine  unless they have a  collaborative relationship                                                               
with a physician.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0716                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ED  HALL,  Physician  Assistant,   Alaska  Academy  of  Physician                                                               
Assistants,  testified via  teleconference in  support of  HB 91.                                                               
Addressing the question of why it  is happening now as opposed to                                                               
20 years ago,  he remarked that this has been  a growing process,                                                               
and it has just  been in the past year that  [PAs] have felt they                                                               
have  done their  apprenticeship  and have  the understanding  as                                                               
well as the full support of the medical board.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0766                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL made  a motion  to  move HB  91 from  the                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 91 moved out  of the House                                                               
Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                

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