Legislation Update: MAPA has two pieces of legislation for the 2017-2018 season

The Massachusetts State Legislature just began the start of its new two-year session, and MAPA is prioritizing two pieces of legislation for the 2017-2018 session:

  • Firstly, we are seeking co-sponsorship for our bill, An Act relative to physician assistants (SD962/HD597). This legislation was filed this session by Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) and Representative Jeffrey Sanchez (D- Suffolk) and is a refile from last session.  This bill would ensure that MassHealth recognizes PAs as primary care providers, allowing the Commonwealth to best meet the health care needs of the people of the Massachusetts and best work towards containing health care costs in the commonwealth.
  • The second bill is An Act Enabling physician assistants to authorize psychiatric and substance abuse holds (SD1180/HD3612). This legislation was filed by Senator Vinny deMacedo (R- Plymouth and Barnstable) and Representative Marjorie Decker (D- Middlesex). This bill would enable Physician Assistants to join other qualified practitioners who currently have the authority to place emergency holds on patients who are at risk of harming themselves or others. This simple inclusion of PAs to language in Section 12 and Section 35 of the General Laws will keep patients safe in the hands of the practitioners they encounter in emergency department settings and will allow patients to receive necessary treatment in an expedient and quality manner.

We Need Your Help!

We want to ensure that as many Senators and Representatives as possible sign on to these bills as co-sponsors. The deadline for co-sponsorship is Friday, February 3rd at 5 PM.

Currrent Action Steps:

We are asking you to make two calls today:

  1. One to your current State Representative
  2. One to your current State Senator

(You can find out who your state representative is by going to www.wheredoivotema.com, by calling (800) 462-VOTE, or by contacting our government affairs consultant Kate Saville Worrall at 617-423-1177 or via email at ksaville@charlesgroupconsulting.com.)

Calling Your State Senator:

  1. Call your State Senator in the Massachusetts legislature (listed on wheredoivotema.com as “State Senator”). It is also fine to speak with an aide. Ask to speak to an aide who is dealing with bills related to health care.
  2. What to say:
    • I am calling on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA). As a Physician Assistant (PA), and your constituent, I am asking you to sign onto two pieces of legislation that are important to me and my profession.
    • Please co-sponsor legislation filed by Senate Majority Leader Harriette Chandler (Senate Docket 962). SD962 that ensures MassHealth recognizes PAs as primary care providers, allowing the Commonwealth to best meet the health care needs of the people of the Massachusetts and best work towards containing health care costs in the commonwealth.
    • Please co-sponsor legislation filed by Senator Vinny DeMacedo (Senate Docket 1180) that would allow for Physician Assistants and other qualified practitioners to place psychiatric and substance abuse emergency holds to keep patients safe and expediently provide them with the care they need.
  3. Thank them for their time. If they have any questions, and you are unsure of the answer, simply say you do not know but will call them back.  Please contact our government affairs consultant Kate Saville Worrall at ksaville@charlesgroupconsulting.com to help you get the answer.

Calling Your State Representative:

  1. Call your State Senator in the Massachusetts legislature (listed on wheredoivotema.com as “State Representative”). It is also fine to speak with an aide. Ask to speak to an aide who is dealing with bills related to health care.
  2. What to say:
    • I am calling on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA). As a Physician Assistant (PA), and your constituent, I am asking you to sign onto two pieces of legislation that are important to me and my profession.
    • Please co-sponsor legislation filed by Representative Jeffrey Sanchez (House Docket 597) that ensures MassHealth recognizes PAs as primary care providers, allowing the Commonwealth to best meet the health care needs of the people of the Massachusetts and best work towards containing health care costs in the commonwealth.
    • Please co-sponsor legislation filed by Representative Marjorie Decker (House Docket 3612) that would allow for Physician Assistants and other qualified practitioners to place psychiatric and substance abuse emergency holds to keep patients safe and expediently provide them with the care they need.
  3. Thank them for their time. If they have any questions, and you are unsure of the answer, simply say you do not know but will call them back.  Please contact our government affairs consultant Kate Saville Worrall at ksaville@charlesgroupconsulting.com to help you get the answer.

THANK YOU for your support of MAPA and your profession!

Posted in Legislation.