Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact Senator Cindy Friedman and Representative Denise Garlick to encourage them to report our bill, S.1085/H.3205, An Act enabling physician assistants to authorize psychiatric and substance abuse holds out favorably from the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse – which they co-chair.
The good news is that while our bill did not move forward out of the Committee, we did receive an extension until March 20, 2018.
You may also be aware that Governor Baker has filed his own bill, H.4033 An Act relative to combating addiction, accessing treatment, reducing prescriptions and enhancing prevention” (CARE). This bill, among other things, would create a 72-hour hold for involuntary restraint of an individual for transportation to an appropriate treatment facility for alcohol or substance abuse disorder. The Committee granted the extension on our bill as they want to take a closer look at all bills that are similar in intent and language to the Governor’s bill.
Our next steps include meeting with the Chairs of the committee and continuing to encourage a favorable report on our bill. We will be asking for your support again when we get closer to the March 20th deadline.
We are also closely following the Governor’s bill and are working to ensure that PAs are included in the final language of that legislation so we can continue to care for our patients in every way possible and with every tool.