Message from the President - October 2017

October 16, 2017

Constance D. Huynh, MPH, PA-C, President

Legislative Update from the WSMA House of Delegates Conference
October 14-15, 2017
Re: resolution B7 and C18

Dear Colleague,

WAPA, in conjunction with our physician allies, were successful in preventing Resolutions B-7 and C-18 from being approved by the WSMA HOD! Both resolutions were referred to the joint WSMA/WAPA workgroup for decision.

Hard work always pays off as was the case this past weekend at the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) Annual Conference on October 14–15 where your WAPA contingent tirelessly worked to defeat two resolutions: Resolution B-7 and Resolution C-18.

Resolution B-7 entitled, “Strengthening the Physician-Physician Assistant Relationship in Washington” would have undermined the work of the joint WSMA/WAPA workgroup to address PA practice reform and leave PAs at a further disadvantage in our efforts to work with physicians. The joint workgroup was created to explore barriers physicians and PAs face in working together, gathering information on employer policies that create disadvantages to PAs in hiring practice, and contemplating how we can collaborate to improve the future of physician-PA partnership. Now, the workgroup can move forward in our work.

Resolution C-18, “Reimbursement for Supervising Mid-Levels,” if adopted, would have had the most significant impact on physicians and physician assistants who work together. Paying physicians for supervision of Advanced Practice Providers would increase the cost burden for employers. This would lead to further hiring and practice challenges for PAs.

This was a monumental mobilization and we have many people to thank. First and foremost, thank you to the scores of PAs and physicians who wrote letters of support or attended the WSMA conference. More specifically:

  • Keisha Pitts, JD and Ann Davis, PA-C of American Academy of Physician Assistants;
  • Dr. Marc Stewart, Medical Director and Gabrielle Zecha, PA-C, Associate Medical Director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance;
  • Dr. June Bredin, Immediate-Past President of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians;
  • The Spokane County Medical Society
  • The Yakima County Medical Society

Special thanks and eternal gratitude goes to our Legislative Committee who leads us in our efforts:

WAPA Legislative Health Policy Committee members: Linda Dale, PA-C (co-chair), Lyle Larson, PA-C (co-chair), Constance Huynh, PA-C, Monica Morrison, PA-C, Betty Stewart, PA-C, Lyn Storm, PA-C and Mike Urakawa, PA-C

Lobbyist: Kate White Tudor, JD

Executive Administrator: Linda Krause

There is still much work to do to reform PA practice laws in our state. I am confident our success at the WSMA Annual Conference has emboldened and galvanized both PAs and physicians to strengthen our relationship for the betterment of our professions and our patients.

In solidarity,

Sincerely Yours,

Constance D. Huynh, MPH, PA-C

B7 Testimony
C18 Testimony
WSMA/WAPA Joint Workgroup Statement RE: B7