Indiana House Democratic Caucus

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House passes Errington's bill granting opportunities to physician assistants

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For immediate release:
Jan. 24, 2013


INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana House of Representatives has passed legislation coauthored by Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) that redefines the role of physician assistants (PA) in attempt to offer more opportunities in Indiana.

The bill amends the definition of “supervision” in existing state law to grant more opportunities for PAs to prescribe controlled substances. Under this proposal, the supervising physician oversees the prescription authority of his or her assistants.

“The purpose of this legislation is to provide physician assistants with more prospects in Indiana,” said Errington. “Some of our best and brightest choose to leave the state to find better employment options.”

This issue is particularly relevant to college towns like Muncie.

“Throughout discussions on this bill, I have spoken with two physician assistants from Muncie, who have talked to me over the past six years about what PAs do and the need for this provision,” she said. “It would help prevent the brain drain.

“We have great universities educating phenomenal students,” she said. “Now we need to keep those people in Indiana.”

In addition to the career benefits for PAs, the bill also ensures better healthcare in Indiana. With the expansion of covering more Hoosiers with healthcare, some areas of the state will experience physician shortages.

“This bill provides PAs with the same abilities as those in neighboring states,” said Errington. “With the ability to handle prescriptions, it takes some of the workload off the physicians.

“The goal is to prevent the brain drain while serving the health needs of Hoosiers at the same time,” she concluded.

After passing through the House with a 94-0 vote, House Bill 1099 will move on to the Indiana Senate for consideration.

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