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News & Press: Legislative & Regulatory

Updated on Bills & Hearings

Thursday, June 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Our bills H.3205 and S.1085, An Act enabling physician assistants to authorize psychiatric and substance abuse holds, which would allow PAs to sign for Section 12 and Section 35 Holds are scheduled for a hearing on Monday, June 19th at 1:00 in front of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use & Recovery (room B-1 at the State House).

We need PAs who would be willing to come to the hearing to speak on behalf of these bills, or to submit written testimony on their behalf.

Mass General Laws, Sections 12 and 35 of Ch. 123, permit the civil commitment of persons posing a risk of serious harm by reason of mental illness or chemical dependency. Under current law, a PA who believes that a patient requires hospitalization by reason of mental illness or chemical dependence must solicit the support of a qualifying medical provider to authorize an emergency hold or petition the courts. Physician Assistants are currently not listed as authorized medical providers to can authorize a civil commitment of a client in an emergency setting. These bills would rectify that oversight.

We Need Your Help!
We want to ensure that S.1085/H.3205 are reported favorably out of committee.

Current Action Steps: 

MAPA will be at the hearing testifying in support of S.1085/H.3612. However, we would also like the Committee to hear from YOU, PAs practicing in the field, as to why the proposed legislative change is important to you.

We are asking you to CONTACT US if you would be willing to either attend the hearing and testify OR submit written testimony in support of the proposed legislation. We will work with you to draft testimony and submit it – making it as easy and fast for you as possible.

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:  You can reach Jennifer at:

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.