Maine has set itself apart as a leader in mobilizing the full strength of its healthcare workforce during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

On March 18, Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 1660, an Act to Improve Access to Physician Assistant Care, into law. This bill was selected by the Maine Legislature to be fast-tracked in order to give PAs (physician assistants) the ability to practice medicine to the full extent of their training and experience. The law removes the requirement for an experienced PA to have a supervising physician, while ensuring PAs continue to consult and collaborate with physicians and other providers as needed.

Less than a week later, Gov. Mills also issued an executive order immediately suspending supervisory requirements for PAs responding to the pandemic.

These changes are crucial and will greatly increased how much PAs can contribute to the COVID-19 response and to Maine’s ongoing need for expanded access to health care around the state. The Maine Association of PAs (MEAPA) would like to thank the Maine State Legislature and Governor Mills for recognizing the crucial role that PAs are playing in the fight against the coronavirus – and for taking these proactive steps in order to prepare and protect our state during this challenging time.

PAs become PAs in order to care for people – and now, when we are needed most, every PA in Maine can do just that.

Gretchen Preneta, PA-C

president of the Maine Association of Physician Assistants

Portland

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