GAPA Launches Legislative Blogs in 2011

The Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA) will be providing a series of legislative blogs to members during the 2011 General Assembly session.

Online PR News – 23-December-2010 – – The Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA) will be providing several new benefits to members in 2011, beginning with a series of legislative blogs during the 2011 General Assembly session.

“These updates are designed to further empower GAPA members to become involved with the legislative processes that affect their practices and professional growth,” said Jeff Chambers, PA-C, ATC. Chambers is the chairperson of the Legislative & Governmental Affairs committee and is a past president of the Association. “There are a number of issues that all Georgia PAs should be aware of and following over the next several months.”

Legislation affecting PAs that is expected to be introduced in the 2011 Georgia General Assembly includes:
• Elimination of “subsequent visit” provision (requiring a patient who is seen more than twice a year by a PA to see the physician at least once in that period)
• Deletion of requirement of notification of patient (of the right to see the physician prior to accepting prescription)
• PA authentication of healthcare related forms, including education, workers compensation, and employment
• Amend administrative requirements related to PA requesting and distributing professional samples
• Deletion of language related to Medical Board rules about prescription forms and remote sites
• Delegation of Schedule 2 prescribing by supervising physician to PA

The legislative blogs will be spearheaded by Tom Bauer. Bauer has worked with GAPA as a legislative liaison to the Georgia General Assembly and executive branch for more than 20 years, and has assisted the Association with accomplishments that include the passage of legislation:
• Authorizing delegation of prescriptive authority to PAs
• Allowing PAs to register with the DEA
• Increasing and adding flexibility to Physician/PA supervisory ratios
• Ensuring that the PA job description is general in nature
• Designating PAs as state- licensed- as opposed to certified- professionals
• Authorizing PAs to request, sign for, and distribute pharmaceutical samples

The legislative blogs are a component of “Connect with GAPA,” a series of initiatives designed to enable members to better connect with patients, legislative representatives and colleagues. GAPA is also introducing “Find a PA,” a searchable database to help patients find medical services provided by Georgia’s physician assistants.

“The blogs will allow members to follow activity at the State Capitol better than ever before,” Bauer said. “The first updates are expected to be posted in mid-January as the General Assembly gets underway and will continue through the close of the legislative session in March.”

New posts will be announced on GAPA’s Twitter site and Facebook page, as well as in email messaging. The Association will continue to recap legislative activity in its quarterly award winning newsletter, the GAPA Pulse.

It is the mission of the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants to promote high quality, cost-effective, accessible health care as part of a physician-directed PA/physician team in Georgia. To learn how PAs make health care more affordable and accessible in Georgia, or to find a PA near you, please visit www.GAPA.net and click on “Patients.”

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