Colorado removes supervision requirement for PAs

Colorado lawmakers have expanded the ability for physician assistants to practice without supervision from a medical doctor. The law will take effect Aug. 7.

The new law will make Colorado one of 20 states that have passed similar legislation. 

Importantly, the new law does not expand the actual scope of practice for physician assistants, but rather change the supervision portion that was in place into a collaborative agreement.

"The Colorado Medical Board has drafted a sample collaboration agreement template that can be used as a starting point for employers," an analysis of the new law from attorneys at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck states. "But it is still recommended that the employer’s agreement be tailored to its respective practice setting."

Expanding the scope of practice capabilities for physician assistants and nurse practitioners has been hotly debated among professionals in the medical community for some time. 

Proponents say doing so can aid with the ongoing physician shortage and increase access to care for many patients, particularly in rural areas.

While those in opposition of it argue that physician assistants and nurse practitioners do not have the proper training to ensure patient safety in the same way trained physicians with MD degrees receive.

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