Senate committee approves bill to eliminate the 18 month waiting period for physician assistant

02/12/2013 11:59 AM

FRANKFORT— A proposal to eliminate an 18-month waiting period for physician assistants to work with patients by themselves won unanimous approval from a state Senate committee Tuesday.

The Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee passed 11-0 after the Senators deflected a last-minute suggested amendment.

Senate Bill 43 gives a supervising physician oversight of physician assistant and allows a newly-graduated physician assistant to practice without waiting the current 18 month waiting period before a physician assistant may practice.

A representative from the Kentucky Medical Association offered a spoken amendment in the committee meeting that was not presented to the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, or to the committee before the meeting.

Senator Damon Thayer, R- Georgetown, said he would support the committee substitute but discouraged the introduction of oral amendments in this manner.

“On behalf of the committee chairman and the sponsor of the bill, I want people to understand, don’t come in here with an oral amendment at the last minute once you have already gotten the message out that you have come to an agreement between the KMA and the physician assistants,” Thayer said in the meeting.

Physician assistants rallied last week to bring attention to the issue. And House Speaker Greg Stumbo said at the time he expects broad support from the House should the bill get there.

Bill to require use of electronic filing for death passes committee

The committee also unanimously passed a bill that would require electronic filing of death certificates as of January 1, 2015.

Sen. Joe Bowen, R- Owensboro, said Senate Bill 52 was a secure method to file and obtain death certificates with no cost associated with the bill.

Jacqueline Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts joined the cn|2 political team in June 2012. A graduate of WKU, Jacqueline grew up in Nashville, TN and is looking forward to having a front row seat to Kentucky politics. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqueline_cn2. She can be reached at 502-792-1114 or jacqueline.pitts@twcnews.com.

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