Action Alert: Proposed Regulations Recognize PAs as Primary Care Clinicians under MassHealth!

Legislative Update

(1) Proposed Regulations Recognize PAs as Primary Care Clinicians under MassHealth!

As you know, Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012 (healthcare cost containment legislation) created Chapter 176S of the Massachusetts General Law, enabling PAs to practice as primary care providers in the Commonwealth.  However – in the years since that law was enacted, MassHealth had NOT updated their regulations to include PAs under their regulatory definition of “primary care clinician” – meaning that PAs were excluded from the list of eligible Primary Care Clinicians (PCC) providers under MassHealth.  Members therefore have needed to choose either a physician or nurse practitioner to be a PCC.

We have been working closely with MassHealth to change these regulations.  We firmly believe that MassHealth excluding PAs from the list of eligible PCCs goes directly against the goals of the Commonwealth’s continued focus on the containment of healthcare costs for all citizens of the Commonwealth.

Over the period since then, we have had a number of meetings and conversations with MassHealth, and even filed legislation over the last two legislative sessions that would have mandated them to make these changes.  Finally our work has paid off!

On April 21st, 2017, MassHealth released proposed amendments to their regulations at 130 CMR 433.000, 450.000 and 508.000 that will allow PAs in a group practice with at least one physician to participate in MassHealth as a primary care clinician, and for the group practice to bill for the PA’s services. 

Currently the proposed amendments to the MassHealth regulations are open for public comment, until Friday, May 12th at 5 PM. 

We Need Your Help!

We want to ensure that the proposed amendments to the regulations are maintained and included in the final regulations when they are promulgated.

Current Action Steps:

MAPA will be submitting comprehensive comments in support of these proposed regulations before the end of the comment period.  However – we would also like MassHealth to hear from YOU, PAs practicing in the field -as to why the proposed regulatory change is important to you.

We are asking you to CONTACT US if you would be willing to submit comments in support of the proposed regulations.  We will work with you to draft testimony and submit it – making it as easy and fast for you as possible.

 It is CRITICAL for PAs in Massachusetts that these proposed regulations remain intact and that PAs are finally recognized by MassHealth as primary care clinicians.

 Please reach out to Sarah Christie, MAPA President, or to Kate Saville Worrall, one of MAPA’s government affairs consultants, if you would be willing to work with us to submit comments in support of these regulations.   You can reach Sarah at: SarahC.MAPA@gmail.com.  You can reach Kate at: ksaville@charlesgroupconsulting.com.

Thank you! Your advocacy will help ensure that PAs are able to continue practicing at the top of their license and that patients continue to receive the quality care they deserve.

Posted in Legislation.