WASHINGTON ACADEMY OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS

2019 WAPA Lobby Day

February 5, 2019 (Tuesday)
Please save this date and plan to join your fellow PA colleagues for a day on the hill.
Talk with legislators about issues important to our profession and our patients.
Columbia Room, Legislative Building - 8:30 am start time
Olympia, Washington

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WAPA’s 30th Annual Primary Care Review Course and Spring Conference

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April 27-30, 2019
Seattle Airport Marriott Hotel
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Tentative 2019 Spring Brochure

NEWS

AAPA and WAPA Update on Washington State Health Care Authority

Re: Physician signature required on prescriptions for Medical Equipment

WAPA and the AAPA are aware of the issue regarding the ordering of DME. We/WAPA and AAPA share your concern about the limits this interpretation places on the ability of PAs (and NPs) to deliver needed care to patients.

As this is a federal issue, AAPA  has been in conversation with the national nurse practitioner organization as well as  the American Association of Home Care (DME suppliers) and the National Association of Community Health Centers regarding this issue. AAPA plans to meet with national  Medicaid officials in the Washington, DC - area and discuss the negative interpretation that is being placed on ordering DME. The negative interpretation appears to be occurring in certain states and we hope to be able to obtain relief from an unnecessary and harmful restriction on PA scope of practice.

WAPA will be sure to keep you informed on this issue. 

Regards,

Lyn Storm, PA-C
WAPA President


 HCA Update: WSMA seeks delay in potentially burdensome HCA change to home health and DME orders

The WSMA is seeking to delay the Jan. 1 effective date of a new state Health Care Authority Apple Health (Medicaid) policy regarding home health services and durable medical equipment that threatens to increase the administrative burden on physicians.

As reported in the Nov. 28 Membership Memo, the HCA has amended its rules for home health services and medical equipment to align with federal law. Under the new policy, starting Jan. 1, only physicians will be authorized to order home health services and medical equipment for Apple Health patients—advance registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants wishing to place a home health or DME order will be required to have a physician's signature.

WSMA's concerns over these changes are essentially twofold:

  • A requirement to have physicians review home health and DME orders by ARNPs and PAs to confirm medical necessity is administratively burdensome, adding more tasks for busy physicians to absorb, even if there is a mechanism whereby physicians can bill for that activity. This requirement impedes the delivery of care and appears contrary to the spirit of the current administration's "Patients Over Paperwork" initiative.
  • The requirement does not appear to address the reality that here in Washington, ARNPs have independent practice authority, and in many practice settings, ARNPs in independent practice have little or no oversight by a physician and therefore are not positioned to comply with this requirement.

The WSMA is seeking an opportunity with HCA leadership to, at least, forestall temporarily the Jan. 1 implementation of these policy changes. This would allow time to explore with both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the HCA the feasibility of addressing these two concerns in a more reasoned manner and timeframe, particularly in view of the holiday period when communications among parties will be impeded by vacation schedules.

We will keep you apprised of further developments. For questions, contact Bob Perna at [email protected].

WAPA Membership

We are dedicated to the promotion of our profession and need your support for its continued growth. Each Physician Assistant in this state is important to our organization. There is strength in numbers, and we need to watch issues such as reimbursement, practice laws and work on continuing to publicize our great profession.

WAPA Membership Categories

Fellow: A PA who is a member of AAPA (For WAPA elections, votes for WAPA & AAPA positions) $150.00 /year

Colleague: A PA who is not a member of AAPA (For WAPA elections, votes for WAPA officers only) $150.00/year

Sustaining: A retired PA, Active duty PA or a PA employed by a federal agency (i.e. the VA or Madigan) $95.00/year

Out of State: A PA who is not residing or working in Washington state. $95.00/year

Student: A student in a PA training program. Student memberships are $60.00 for 2 years.

Affiliate: A non-physician assistant (MD, DO, ND). $95.00/year

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