Supervise an APRN or PA? What You Need to Know

Delegating duties to an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), physician assistant (PA), or other nonphysician can be an excellent way to enhance your practice and improve your patients' access to quality medical care. But, a newly updated TMA white paper cautions, you have to do it right. Your license to practice may be at risk.

Delegation of Duties by a Physician to a Nonphysician is available to TMA members only.

"Generally, latitude is given to a supervising physician in the physician's delegation authority, but which acts a physician may delegate greatly depends upon the education and experience of the person to whom the acts are being delegated," according to the white paper. "A physician must adequately supervise the activities of those acting under the physician's supervision, and may not delegate professional medical responsibility or acts to a person if the delegating physician knows or has reason to know the person is not qualified by training, experience, or licensure to perform the responsibility or acts."

The 18-page white paper covers the law, ethical considerations, billing, standing orders, delegating duties and prescriptive authority, supervisory requirements, administration of anesthesia, and other practical considerations. It discusses supervising and delegating duties to APRNs, PAs, physical therapists, medical assistants, pharmacists, and midwives.

TMA's Office of General Counsel reminds you, however, that the information in the white paper "is of a general nature and should not be used in place of retained legal counsel."

Action, March 1, 2017