URGENT ACTION NEEDED NOW: HAWAII, House Bill H.B. 2578
Dear Fellow Hawaii PA:
The House Committee on Health and Human Services will hear testimony on legislation related to PA licensing tomorrow at 10:30 A.M.
The bill to be considered, H.B. 2578, would prohibit the Hawaii Medical Board from requiring PAs to maintain or receive NCCPA certification to renew licensure and instead, require PAs to complete a specified amount of continuing medical education (CME) to renew licensure. Please submit testimony in SUPPORT of this important bill NOW. Sample testimony language is below.
Rocco Laudadio, DHSc., PA-C
President, Hawaii Academy of PAs
SUGGESTED TESTIMONY LANGUAGE LISTED BELOW:
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Dear Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee:
As a PA (physician assistant) practicing in (location), I urge your SUPPORT for H.B. 2578. This bill will allow PAs to renew licensure upon the completion of a specified number of continuing medical education (CME) hours, and will prohibit the Hawaii Medical Board from requiring PAs to maintain current certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) as a condition of license renewal. This bill is consistent with the renewal process used in 31 states and the District of Columbia and the license renewal requirements for Hawaii physicians.
PAs are healthcare practitioners who receive a graduate-level degree after an approximately 27-month program of study. The typical PA student receives more than 2,000 hours of supervised, hands-on clinical care experience before graduation, and all new PAs must take and pass an initial national certifying exam. The more than 300 PAs in Hawaii diagnose illnesses, develop and manage treatment plans and prescribe medications in every medical setting and specialty.
Only seventeen states (including Hawaii) require PAs to maintain NCCPA certification, which requires passage of a recertification exam every six or ten years, as a condition of license renewal. While preparation for this exam requires PAs to take significant amounts of time away from practice, there is no evidence that requiring maintenance of certification has a positive impact on patient care. While other healthcare practitioners may be subject to their own maintenance of certification requirements, in these 17 states, PAs are the only healthcare profession for which license renewal is tied to the passage of a recertification exam rather than completion of CME.
PAs are known to provide safe, quality healthcare to their patients. The majority of states, as well as federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid, do not require PAs to maintain certification. Instead, the decision to require current certification is left to individual PAs and their employers. I urge Hawaii to do the same by passing H.B. 2578.
Feel free to add your own story reflecting your experience with maintenance NCCPA certification!
This alert is being sent to you by the American Academy of PAs at the request of the Hawaii Academy of PAs
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