In “Maine Voices: Looming doctor shortage demands action” (Jan. 3), Rebecca Sacchetti suggested the direct primary care model as one way to address physician shortages in our state.

Physician assistants are also able to address physician shortages, but administrative constraints are holding us back. Let’s modernize physician assistant practice so that physician assistants, physicians and other health care professionals can work together to address Maine’s provider shortage.

Maine’s more than 800 physician assistants are here to help improve access to quality, affordable health care. We are medical providers who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications and often serve as a patient’s principal health care provider. With thousands of hours of medical training, we practice in every medical setting and specialty.

To make the most of the education and training physician assistants offer, our state must decrease the unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on physicians who work with us. Too often, administrative obstacles unrelated to patient safety hinder physician assistants from working to the extent of our education and training.

Ensuring all health care providers are serving at the top of their ability is step No. 1 in meeting our state’s health care needs. We can accomplish that with the passage of L.D. 1660, An Act to Improve Access to Physician Assistant Care.

Gretchen Preneta, PA-C

president, Maine Association of Physician Assistants

Portland

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