Message from the President - May 2018

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

"OTP, Name Change, Membership…Oh My!"

Dear PA Colleagues,

The WAPA CME committee organized a great Spring CME conference covering a wide breadth of topics in Primary Care. I for one, greatly appreciate their amazing efforts to recruit great speakers and conduct workshops for our continuing medical education. This was our first conference at the Marriott in Sea-Tac in over 10 years and we are happy to be back.

Our next conference is on October 25-27th. The fall conference will be at the popular Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Mark your calendars now to attend another great network-building, thought-provoking, CME-credit-compiling conference in the foothills of the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Thank you to our CME Committee:

  • Julie Atchley, Chair
  • Sylvan Lowens
  • Cameron Winter
  • Jeanne Ellern
  • Linda Krause

At the end of the conference, the Board of Directors had our quarterly meeting to discuss hot topics and plan our next steps advocating for our profession state and nationwide. Your WAPA board has worked tirelessly on modernizing PA practice laws in our state. Led by our Legislative Committee, we have made big strides in our collaboration with our WSMA (Washington State Medical Association) colleagues. We developed Points of Compromise, which will be presented for support approval to our respective Board of Directors. (WAPA unanimously agreed to support these points this past weekend at our Board mtg.)

WAPA/WSMA Workgroup on OTP Points of Compromise:

  1. Move to a collaboration agreement, instead of a delegation agreement, which would be kept at the local or clinic level, not with the Medical Commission (formerly known as Medical Quality Assurance Commission).
  2. Scope would be defined by the practice of the collaborating physicians at the clinic.
  3. PAs would be responsible for their own liability insurance, which would no longer be connected upstream to physician.
  4. WSMA would support efforts for reimbursement equality with NPs through L&I.

The AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants) national conference is in 2 weeks, May 19th to 23rd in New Orleans. This year is slated to be another exciting, discussion-filled House of Delegates with numerous resolutions up for discussion.

Here is the link to all the AAPA Resolutions (accessible to AAPA members)

Resolutions on our purview
Numerous resolutions addressing incorporation of non-binary terminology and recognition of non-binary gender identities in the AAPA bylaws.

Resolution B-14-OH/WI/IL Changing the Professional Title of Physician Assistants:
We sent out an impromptu survey on the Ohio Resolution. Thank you for participating in last month’s survey. Of the 421 respondents, 68.7% supported the Ohio resolution for AAPA to hire an outside firm to analyze if a name change of our profession (Physician Assistant) is needed and if so, propose what the change would be.

WAPA has a delegation of members traveling to New Orleans for the national AAPA conference later this month to address both this issue, OTP and many others.

Your delegates are:

  • Linda Dale, Chief Delegate
  • Phoumy Bounkeua
  • Randall Dickson
  • Anju Jain
  • Lyle Larson (sitting in for Monica Morrison)
  • Alternate Delegates:
  • Connie Huynh
  • Leanne Brink

All aboard! This train towards practice reform is catching speed and we need all hands on deck. PA involvement in our profession’s sustainability, longevity and relevance in healthcare is needed now more than ever. Today, 4 states have passed legislation to modify PA practice laws in their respective states. Those states are: Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia and New Mexico. There are 7 more states actively working on and have created coalitions with stakeholders to potentially draft legislation, including Washington State.

The rest of this year is staging to be a continuation of changes, advancements and greater understanding for the PA profession in healthcare. To help catalyze this movement, we will added a NEW LINK to the WAPA website for updated information on OTP. This is a living, breathing movement with almost daily changes. Admittedly, it can be confusing to stay apprised of OTP-related updates. This link will help thwart confusion and be a helpful resource to references. Attached is a document for talking points to use and help recruit more members to our ranks.

Please stay tuned for this new link to stay connected to WAPA’s work on modernizing PA practice laws in WA State.

Our profession is over 50 years old. Your involvement with WAPA will ensure PAs are part of the healthcare team for another 50 years and more. I am excited and optimistic at what our future holds; as a profession and organization.

Respectfully and gratefully,

Constance D. Huynh, PA-C, MPH