The act modifies the relationship between a physician assistant and a physician or podiatrist by removing the requirement that a physician assistant be supervised by a physician or podiatrist except in certain circumstances. Instead, a physician assistant must enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician or podiatrist or physician group. The physician or podiatrist must be licensed in good standing in Colorado and be actively practicing with a regular and reliable physical presence in the state.
The collaborative agreement must include:
- The physician assistant's name, license number, and primary location of practice;
- The signature of the physician assistant and the physician or physician group with whom the physician assistant has entered into the collaborative agreement;
- A description of the physician assistant's process for collaboration;
- A description of the performance evaluation process, which may be completed by the physician assistant's employer in accordance with a performance evaluation and review process established by the employer; and
- Any additional requirements specific to the physician assistant's practice required by the physician or physician group entering into the collaborative agreement, including additional levels of oversight, limitations on autonomous judgment, and the designation of a primary contact for collaboration.
For a physician assistant with fewer than 5,000 practice hours, or a physician assistant changing practice areas with fewer than 3,000 practice hours in the new practice area, the collaborative agreement is a supervisory agreement that must include required elements and must also:
- Require that collaboration during the first 160 practice hours be completed in person or through technology, as permitted by the physician or physician group with whom the physician assistant is collaborating;
- Incorporate elements defining the expected nature of collaboration; and
- Require a performance evaluation and discussion of the performance evaluation with the physician assistant.
For a physician assistant entering into a collaborative agreement with a physician or physician group in the emergency department of a hospital with a level I or level II trauma center, the collaborative agreement remains a supervisory agreement and continues indefinitely.
For a physician assistant changing practice areas to practice in an emergency department of a hospital that is not a level I or level II trauma center, the supervising physician or physician group may increase the number of hours for which the collaborative agreement is a supervisory agreement.
The act also eliminates the 3-year time limit for physician assistants to satisfy certain financial responsibility requirements from which such physician assistants are exempt under current law.
APPROVED by Governor April 26, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)