As we close on the first half of our year, I wanted to share with you a few important updates from ARAPA on things that may affect you or your practice. In addition, I want to share what ARAPA is currently working on/toward as we progress in 2018.
Over the past 6 months, we have met with Medicaid officials as well as representatives from the Governor’s office to discuss Medicaid issues that affect physician assistants as well as patients across the state. One of the main discussion points has been attempting to get “rendering provider status”, which means that when we see a patient that our provider number is attached to the visit in place of the doctors or in addition to the doctor’s provider number. As discussed with representatives, this would provide more accountability and authenticity to patients as well as allow PA providers to be recognized in various directories across the state. Some early contacts and discussions have also been made with the Arkansas Medical Society.
- Fall ARAPA CME Conference, October 12-13
The Fall ARAPA CME conference is coming up and I encourage you to save the date as this has always been a great time to connect with fellow colleagues as well as to gain insight in various topics relevant to our practice.
- Amendment to Regulation 24
On June 12th, the Arkansas State Medical Board adopted an amendment to Regulation 24 governing physician assistants. The amendment removed the requirement that the supervising physician be able to reach the physician assistant within one hour when the physician assistant is rendering services to patients. The provider needs to be accessible by phone.
- Continuing Opioid Safety CME
In relation to regulation 17, the Arkansas State Medical Board will now be requiring one hour of safe opioid prescribing CME as part of the yearly 20 hours required for providers.
I cannot tell you enough how important it is to maintain membership and encourage membership of your peers. It is through our membership that we may network about issues around the state as well as afford lobbyists to help with issues affecting our licensure and ability to provide care to patients across Arkansas.