Resolution 10: Physician Assistants as Part of the Patient Centered Medical Home

Introduced by:   Durham-Orange County Medical Society

Referred to:        Reference Committee No. 1 – Timothy M. Beittel, MD, Chair

WHEREAS, Physician Assistants (PAs) are skilled medical professionals who play an integral part in health care delivery; and

WHEREAS, the health care system is facing a shortage of primary care clinicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians predicts that, if current trends continue, the shortage of primary care physicians will reach 40,000 within 10 years; and

WHEREAS, current definitions of primary care include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology; and

WHEREAS, as health care delivery is transformed, the implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) as a vehicle for patient care is rapidly expanding.  Primary care delivery in both internal medicine and family practice is shifting toward this system of population management of chronic disease; and

WHEREAS, recent studies from the American College of Physicians and the American College of Family Physicians state that PAs should be recognized as primary care providers in the PCMH model; and

WHEREAS,  accrediting bodies such as (NCQA) and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) support the PCMH as a proven model for delivering high quality, cost-effective patient care and encourage the inclusion of Physician Assistants within the delivery model; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the North Carolina Medical Society supports and endorses the use of Physician Assistants in the Patient Centered Medical Home model; and be it further (policy)

RESOLVED, That the North Carolina Medical Society encourage North Carolina county medical societies and specialty societies to endorse inclusion of Physician Assistants in the Patient Centered Medical Home delivery model of health care(action)

Fiscal Note:  Estimated additional budget impact:  $3,000.  Current resources will be allocated based on the priorities of the Society and the NCMS budget.

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4 Comments

  • Chip Hedrick

    Dr. Brown. PA’s are dependant practitioners under the law. The Physician has sole responsibility for the application of the Physician Assistant. I agree there should be something in the resolution that addresses this.

  • We strongly support the use of teams in Patient-Centered Medical Homes and appreciate and strongly value our Physician Assistant colleagues. However, we would like to offer a friendly amendment noting that these would be physician-led medical homes. These comments are on behalf of the delegation representing the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians — Dr. Brian Forrest, Dr. Shannon Dowler and Dr. Tom White.

  • Sandra Brown

    This resolution is vague on the question of autonomy and responsibility. It should address specifically whether PAs will practice independently (unsupervised). This is essential to define the medicolegal risk of MD / DO in the same practice.

  • Robert Hollingsworth, DHSc. PA-C

    As a PA involved in developing a Patient-Centered Medical Home within in our Medical Center’s (Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton) clinic system, I appreciate the NCMS support of my colleagues and I in this Resolution. Thank you!