Bill S4998A-2009

Authorizes physician assistants under the supervision of a physician to perform most medical services that such physician can perform

Clarifies the scope of practice of physician assistants to authorize such physician assistants, while under the supervision of a physician, to perform the medical services that the physician could perform if such physician assistant has the proper training therefor.



  • Mar 31, 2010: APPROVAL MEMO.1
  • Mar 30, 2010: SIGNED CHAP.30
  • Feb 24, 2010: returned to senate
  • Feb 24, 2010: passed assembly
  • Feb 24, 2010: ordered to third reading cal.154
  • Feb 24, 2010: substituted for a1726b
  • Feb 23, 2010: referred to higher education
  • Feb 22, 2010: PASSED SENATE
  • Feb 8, 2010: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Feb 2, 2010: 1ST REPORT CAL.81
  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • May 20, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 4998A
  • Apr 27, 2009: REFERRED TO HEALTH


VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Health - Feb 2, 2010
Ayes (15): Duane, Onorato, Montgomery, Kruger, Sampson, Klein, Valesky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Hannon, Farley, Larkin, Fuschillo, Winner, Little
Ayes W/R (1): Johnson C
Nays (1): Young



TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public health law, in relation to clarifying the scope of practice of registered physician assistants

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : To clarify that a physician assistant may perform various functions (e.g., signing certifications) relating to the medical services they are allowed to perform.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Adds a new Public Health Law § 3704 to clarify the statutory construction of the responsibilities and authority of the physician assistant. Where a PA legally provides a medical service, the PA would be authorized to perform other functions (e.g., signing a certification) relating to that medical service that the PA's supervising physician could perform, unless a statute explicitly provides otherwise. The PA scope of practice (what medical services the P A provide, and under what circumstances) is not increased or decreased.

JUSTIFICATION : In 1971, the New York State Legislature recognized the education and training of physician assistants and their value in meeting the need for medical services and enacted Articles 38 and 131 of the Education Law and Article 37 of the Public Health Law permitting the licensure of physician assistants. PAs have a very broad scope of practice. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, they are authorized to provide any medical service a physician may provide, when acting under the supervision of a qualified physician.

Many laws and regulations refer to what a physician may do. Although the Education Law definition of the PA scope of practice begins with a broad "notwithstanding" clause, some regulatory and judicial interpretations have erroneously held that PAs are excluded from those provisions, thwarting the letter and intent of the PA statute. For example, one court held that a P A may not perform a blood alcohol test in an alleged drunk driving case, since the Vehicle and Traffic Law refers to a physician directing the drawing of blood. This bill would clarify that a PA may perform any functions relating to any medical service that is authorized under the PA's scope of practice.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : This bill is drawn from the following broader earlier bills: 2004: A.11826 - referred to Health committee 2005-06: A.2005-A - referred to Health committee 2007-08: A.5507-A referred to Health committee


EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4998--A 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 27, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sen. DUANE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to clarifying the scope of practice of registered physician assistants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 3704 to read as follows: S 3704. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT MAY PERFORM ANY FUNCTION IN CONJUNCTION WITH A MEDICAL SERVICE LAWFULLY PERFORMED BY THE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT, IN ANY HEALTH CARE SETTING, THAT A STATUTE AUTHOR- IZES OR DIRECTS A PHYSICIAN TO PERFORM AND THAT IS APPROPRIATE TO THE EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE OF THE REGISTERED PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT AND WITHIN THE ORDINARY PRACTICE OF THE SUPERVISING PHYSICIAN. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE LAWFUL SCOPE OF PRACTICE OF A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT UNDER THE EDUCATION LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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