Exercising the authority under Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-39-20, the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has waived physician assistant (PA) supervision requirements to allow physicians and surgeons to supervise more than four physician assistants at a time.
“In order to allow physician assistants the flexibility to meet patients’ need during this declared state of emergency, we waived several portions of the law that limited their ability to help,” said DCA Director Kimberly Kirchmeyer. “Physician assistants are qualified medical professionals who have the proper education and training to help immediately and more directly with the state’s COVID-19 response.”
The waiver will allow physician assistants to move to another practice site to assist with the COVID-19 response without a written practice agreement in place with any physician at the site. It will also allow PAs to continue to furnish or order drugs or devices, with the exception that schedule II or III controlled substances only be furnished or ordered with a patient-specific order approved by the treating or supervising physician and surgeon. Under this waiver, PAs would still need to be supervised, must be competent to perform the medical services they provide, and must have the education, training, and experience necessary to render the medical services.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is working hand in hand with its healing arts licensing boards to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read the full waiver and see a list of current waivers on the DCA website.