Supervising physician agreements in Pennsylvania do not need to be complicated, but there are specific provisions that are required to obtain Board of Medicine/ Board of Osteopathic Medicine approval. I usually recommend a separate employment agreement and supervisory agreement, since the supervising physician agreement must be provided to the State Board of Medicine or State Board of Osteopathic Medicine and to anyone who seeks to confirm the physician assistant’s authority to prescribe or dispense a drug.
Before considering use of a physician assistant, remember that as the licensed physician, you retain full professional and legal responsibility for the performance of the physician assistant and the care and treatment of the physician assistant’s patients. You are required to provide supervision of the physician assistant at all times, either personally or through a substitute supervising physician. You are only allowed to be the primary supervising physician for four physician assistants.
Supervising physician agreements in Pennsylvania are required to contain the following minimum provisions:
- Identify the physician assistant and each physician the PA will be assisting.
- Describe in detail the manner in which the PA will be assisting each named physician, listing functions to be delegated to the PA
- Describe detailed instructions for the use of he PA in the performance of delegated tasks
- Describe the time, place and manner, method and frequency of supervision and direction each named physician will provide the PA, including the frequency of personal contact with the PA
- Designate one of the named physicians as the primary supervising physician
- Require the supervising physician to countersign the patient record completed by the PA within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 10 days
- Identify the locations and practice settings where the physician assistant will serve; and
- Provide the name, address and phone number of at least two physicians who can substitute for the supervising physician when that physician is either absent or otherwise unavailable.
It is also important to remember to notify the Board of Medicine or Board of Osteopathic Medicine if you cease serving as a supervising physician, such as when closing a medical practice in Pennsylvania.
A physicians assistant can be a valuable addition to a medical practice, but Pennsylvania physicians must ensure that they have complied with all the requirements of supervising physician agreements in Pennsylvania before they use a physicians assistance in their practice.
If you would like to speak to me about obtaining approval for a supervising physician agreement in Pennsylvania, please fee free to contact me.