VA Using PAs to Increase Access to Care for Veterans
Alexandria, VA - The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) applauds a recent directive from the Veterans Health Administration (VA), one of the largest healthcare systems employing PAs, designed to enhance utilization of PAs while continuing to embrace a patient-centered and team-based approach to practicing medicine.
The directive establishes new policy by authorizing PAs to practice medicine within defined levels of autonomy and to exercise autonomous medical decision-making.
The VA is the largest employer of PAs, who practice medicine similarly to physicians including conducting physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, writing prescriptions and providing follow-up care among many other services. More than 93,000 PAs practice in every medical and surgical setting and specialty.
“This is a welcome and encouraging development from the VA and demonstrates not only how versatile and dynamic PAs can be when it comes to practicing medicine, but the VA's confidence in the quality of care PAs can render autonomously,” said Lawrence Herman, PA-C, MPA, AAPA president. “We applaud the VA for empowering PAs to fully deliver high-quality medicine to our veterans.”
The Academy also recognized the efforts of Denni Woodmansee, PA-C, director of PA services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for working with all stakeholders at the VA to clarify the roles and appropriate utilization of PAs in VA medical facilities. Continue>
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