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|Full Practice Authority to PAs employed by Federal agencies|
Dear South Dakota Academy of PAs,
On April 3, 2020, A petition was posted on Whitehouse.org asking President Trump to grant Full Practice Authority to PAs employed by Federal agencies. This was timed to coincide with the release of the AAPA letter to VA Secretary Wilke requesting the same. The VA was targeted specifically because they employ thousands of PAs and provide care to our veterans.
Current state and federal administrative barriers prevent PAs from practicing to the full extent of our education, training, knowledge, and experience. Many state governors have issued temporary emergency declarations lifting these barriers as a means of increasing the number of health care professionals able to help combat COVID-19. Unfortunately Federal Service PAs, the VA specifically, have been left behind. Now is the time for us to show our support for those that provide care to our Veterans.
By signing the petition (Full-text version; whitehouse.gov version), you will not only support the Federal PAs but you will be driving the change towards the modernization of PA practice! What happens at the Federal level often trickles down to the States.
We believe the odds of a positive response are high IF we can get it in front of the President. To get there, we need 100,000 signatures by May 2nd. As of today, April 21, we have 22,500 signatures. We need your support to move this closer to the goal.
We are asking you to share this with your members. (see the attached example sent by IAPA (4/10/2020) We understand that each Constituent Chapter faces unique state-level issues and challenges, and the desire to maintain those often tenuous organizational relationships.
We also understand the terms “full practice authority” and "independent" in the petition can be confusing. The wording of this petition was vetted with high-ranking PAs within the VA prior to posting. They used the language found in Federal regulation. The understanding of Optimal Team Practice (OTP) is, at best, confined to our profession. Numerous surveys have indicated even many PAs don't know what it is. There is no intention to change the fundamental relationship between PA and physician but to remove the administrative barriers that repeatedly interrupt and slow down patient care. FPA in this context is OTP.
We have supporters throughout the government and the White House. Again, we need 100,000 signatures to get a formal White House review of the petition and response by May 4th. We can easily reach this signature goal if everyone signs and gets 10 family members or friends to sign.
Edward J. Mathes, PA-C, DFAAPA
NYSSPA Finger Lakes District Director