Hawaii Academy of Physician Assistants

Physician Assistant UPDATE - PLEASE SUBMIT TESTIMONY SB1406 by Tues 9:40am

Posted 11 months ago by Christina Starks

This announcement has 3 attachments:

Dear PA friends and supporters,

Aloha! Below you will find Hawaii Academy of PAs updates and please submit testimony for SB1406 (Senate version of HB935).


House Bill 935 Status:

After passing the committees on Health and Intrastate Commerce, House Bill 935 (for modernizing Physician Assistant practice laws) was deferred indefinitely by Rep. Takumi and his committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.  This came as a big surprise based on our efforts and work with legislators AND the over 3 dozen supportive testimony submitted by you!  Unfortunately, we were not able to over come the Hawaii Medical Association’s opposition testimony.  In addition, the osteopaths gave damaging testimony and urged legislators to protect the safety Hawaii’s patients by opposing the bill.  Please see the attached testimony from HAOPS and AOA.  


Meeting with Hawaii Medical Board:

On 2/14/19 Hawaii Academy of PAs met with HMB to discuss PA practice and what our true intent 1) collaborative practice not independent practice 2) modernize Hawaii PA practice laws so that it is not so burdensome for Physicians and PAs to practice together.  Together with the Board we went line by line of 50 pages of the bill to salvage what language we could that would be mutually beneficially for all stakeholders.  One board member expressed a concern of PA practice and safety, especially of PAs working in community practices vs. hospital.  I asked to clarify the concern, and the example provided was a scenario where a patient would have abnormal findings on a mammogram and would be missed by the PA.  And if the physician was not closely supervising the PA that could be a very bad situation.  Admittedly he does not work with PAs. 

Also, in attendance was Kaiser executives, HMA, and the Board’s PA advisor Vince Tenorio.


Conference call with Hawaii Medical Association:

On 2/19/19, I had a conference call with Chris Flanders, DO and Executive Director of the Hawaii Medical Association.  Intent of the call was to explain that PAs are not seeking independent practice.  There are concerns that “collaboration” would still mean independent practice and that community practice PAs will be “rogue” and practice on their own without a physician.  There is much less confidence in private practice community physicians-PA relationships and much greater confidence with hospital physician-PA teams.  I provided Dr. Flanders a follow up list of studies providing data on PA practice as it pertains to quality, outcomes, cost, access to care hoping to build confidence in the minds of our physician leaders. 


Discussions with Senator Kanuha and Senate Bill 1406:

Senator Dru Mamo Kanuha is the introducer of SB1406, the companion version of HB935.  We have been in contact with his office and spoke briefly in person at the State Capitol on Thursday.  They have read the testimony from the last house committee.  They are aware of HAPA’s concerns with the osteopath testimony. 


Assistance from the American Academy of PAs:

HAPA reached out to AAPA for assistance and rebuttal on the damaging testimony.  Please see attached statement from the President of AAPA, Jonathon Sobel.   


Meeting with Senator Baker:

On 2/21/19, HAPA met with Senator Rosalyn Baker, Chair of the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Health.  We asked to hear the bill and provided information on the steps that have occurred since the house bill was deferred.   We are extremely grateful and lucky that she will indeed hear the bill this Wednesday, February 27th at 9:40am conference room 229. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2019/hearingnotices/HEARING_CPH-JDC_02-27-19-1_.HTM


Please submit testimony by Tuesday 9:40am:  

Once again, we asked for your supporting testimony for Senate Bill 1406 – to modernize PA practice.  https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/login/login.aspx  Please submit testimony and ask your physician employers to also submit supportive testimony or positive comments about working with PAs.  We need everyone’s support!  It is due 24hrs prior to the hearing.  


Mahalo nui loa,



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