On December 3, the Trump Administration released its “Report on Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition,” a wide-ranging analysis examining policy barriers to choice and competition in health care markets that recommends steps that may be taken by federal and state actors to address those barriers.
PAEA commends the administration’s recognition of the contributions of PAs to the delivery of high-quality care and the barriers limiting these contributions that have been imposed by arbitrary state scope of practice restrictions. Specifically, on page 41 of the report, the administration calls on states to, “consider eliminating requirements for rigid collaborative practice and supervision agreements between physicians and dentists and [related providers] (e.g., physician assistants, hygienists) that are not justified by legitimate health and safety concerns.”
PAEA is also supportive of the administration’s recognition of the value of health workforce development in the report. On page 35, the administration states, “Government policies that reduce the available supply of qualified healthcare service providers or the range of services they may safely offer can increase the prices paid for healthcare services, reduce access to care, and suppress the benefits of competition and innovation in healthcare delivery.”
Acting on this premise, PAEA urges the administration to address barriers such as current CMS documentation requirements that require preceptors to re-document — rather than verify — student notes, thereby limiting the potential pool of preceptors to train PA students. PAEA further urges the administration to preserve funding for critical Title VII health workforce development programs in its FY20 budget request.
Moving into the 116th Congress, PAEA looks forward to continued opportunities to work with the administration to bolster the PA workforce to provide high-quality care to our nation’s patients.