Optimal Team Practice

Optimal Team Practice (OTP) is a new policy passed by the AAPA House of Delegates in May 2017 that allows its state chapters to seek changes in state laws that will, among other things, eliminate the legal requirement for PAs to have a specific relationship with a particular collaborating physician in order to practice.

PAEA is generally supportive of the policy, but we believe more work needs to be done to determine how OTP might affect new graduates and therefore how PA education might need to change. The PAEA Board of Directors is forming a task force to consider these issues, as charged by a motion from the membership at the annual Business Meeting at the 2017 Education Forum in October.

To learn more about AAPA’s position on OTP, visit the OTP page of the AAPA website.

Resources

Download

PAEA OTP Task Force paper: Optimal Team Practice: The Right Prescription for all PAs

Read

Networker article (November 2017): OTP Tops the Agenda at Education Forum

Read

Networker article (May 2017): AAPA House Passes OTP with Amendment

OTP Timeline

November 2017

November 2017

The American Medical Association House of Delegates passes a resolution (#230) referencing the AAPA HOD’s adoption of Optimal Team Practice and opposing “physician assistant independent practice.”

October 2017

October 2017

Implementation of OTP is major topic at the 2017 PAEA Education Forum, with discussion at retreats and a Four Org OTP panel, with chief elected and staff leaders of the four national PA organizations. The Four Org leaders agree to continue discussion of the issue.
 

The PAEA membership passes a motion charging the Board to “In collaboration with appropriate stakeholders, develop a task force to address the implications of OTP for PA education and for new graduates as raised in the 2017 PAEA OTP Task Force Report and report back to this body by next year with the findings.”

September 2017

September 2017

PAEA solicits questions from programs for OTP panel and discussion at retreats.

July 2017

July 2017

AAPA establishes the Early Career PA Commission to identify issues faced by new graduates in their transition to practice and to develop resources for them.

May 2017

May 2017

AAPA House of Delegates passes a resolution adopting changes to the Guidelines for State Regulation of PAs that allow AAPA state chapters to pursue OTP. PAEA leaders testify against the HOD resolution on OTP, on the grounds that the implications of OTP for PA education have not been adequately considered. “If PA programs are to produce graduates to practice with full practice authority, we will need to educate them differently,” said PAEA President Bill Kohlhepp is his testimony. Following revisions to the resolution in the House, PAEA gives verbal support to the final resolution language.

April 2017

April 2017

PAEA releases its OTP Task Force paper, “Optimal Team Practice: The Right Prescription for all PAs?”, which supports three of the four elements of the JTF paper, but not the “elimination of provisions in laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating, or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice.”
 
PAEA’s report includes data from surveys of program directors, past presidents, and medical directors, which indicated that more than 85 percent of all groups answered No to the question, “Does your program’s current curriculum already prepare your graduates to practice without ‘a supervisory, collaborating, or other specific relationship with a physician’ in order to practice?”

March 2017

March 2017

AAPA releases “Report of the Joint Task Force on the Future of PA Practice Authority,” which reframes the issue as Optimal Team Practice and espouses four key elements:

  1. Emphasize the PA profession’s continued commitment to team-based practice.
  2. Support the elimination of provisions in laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating, or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice.
  3. Advocate for the establishment of autonomous state boards, with a voting membership comprised of a majority of PAs, to license, regulate, and discipline PAs.
  4. Ensure that PAs are eligible to be reimbursed directly by public and private insurance.

January 2017

January 2017

PAEA forms a Board task force to collect data and consider PAEA’s position on OTP (then called full practice responsibility and responsibility [FPAR]).

July 2016

July 2016

AAPA’s Joint Task Force on the Future of PA Practice Authority (JTF) is charged with answering the question: “Should AAPA go beyond its current position that PAs should be able to practice autonomously; and should individual state COs be allowed to pursue full practice authority/full practice responsibility/independent practice for PAs?”