Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text


Conforming to Code changes
Stage: Final

18VAC85-50-57. Discontinuation of employment.

If for any reason the assistant discontinues working in the employment and under the supervision of a licensed practitioner, such assistant or the employing practitioner shall so inform the board. A a new practice agreement shall be submitted to the board and approved by the board entered into in order for the assistant either to be reemployed by the same practitioner or to accept new employment with another supervising physician.


Part IV
Practice Requirements

18VAC85-50-101. Requirements for a practice agreement.

A. Prior to initiation of practice, a physician assistant and his supervising physician shall submit enter into a written or electronic practice agreement which that spells out the roles and functions of the assistant. Any such practice agreement shall take into account such factors as the physician assistant's level of competence, the number of patients, the types of illness treated by the physician, the nature of the treatment, special procedures, and the nature of the physician availability in ensuring direct physician involvement at an early stage and regularly thereafter. The practice agreement shall also provide an evaluation process for the physician assistant's performance, including a requirement specifying the time period, proportionate to the acuity of care and practice setting, within which the supervising physician shall review the record of services rendered by the physician assistant. The practice agreement may include requirements for periodic site visits by supervising licensees who supervise and direct assistants who provide services at a location other than where the licensee regularly practices.

B. The board may require information regarding the level of supervision, (i.e., "direct," "personal," or "general,") with which the supervising physician plans to supervise the physician assistant for selected tasks. The board may also require the supervising physician to document the assistant's competence in performing such tasks.

C. If the role of the assistant includes prescribing for drugs and devices, the written practice agreement shall include: 1. Those those schedules and categories of drugs and devices that are within the scope of practice and proficiency of the supervising physician; and

2. Requirements for periodic site visits by supervising licensees who supervise and direct assistants who provide services at a location other than where the licensee regularly practices.

D. If the initial practice agreement did not include prescriptive authority, there shall be an addendum to the practice agreement for prescriptive authority shall be submitted

E. If there are any changes in supervision, authorization, or scope of practice, a revised practice agreement shall be submitted entered into at the time of the change.


18VAC85-50-110. Responsibilities of the supervisor.

The supervising physician shall:

1. Review the clinical course and treatment plan for any patient who presents for the same acute complaint twice in a single episode of care and has failed to improve as expected. The supervising physician shall be involved with any patient with a continuing illness as noted in the written or electronic practice agreement for the evaluation process.

2. Be responsible for all invasive procedures.

a. Under general supervision, a physician assistant may insert a nasogastric tube, bladder catheter, needle, or peripheral intravenous catheter, but not a flow-directed catheter, and may perform minor suturing, venipuncture, and subcutaneous intramuscular or intravenous injection.

b. All other invasive procedures not listed above in subdivision 2 a of this section must be performed under direct supervision unless, after directly supervising the performance of a specific invasive procedure three times or more, the supervising physician attests to the competence of the physician assistant to perform the specific procedure without direct supervision by certifying to the board in writing the number of times the specific procedure has been performed and that the physician assistant is competent to perform the specific procedure. After such certification has been accepted and approved by the board, the physician assistant may perform the procedure under general supervision.

3. Be responsible for all prescriptions issued by the assistant and attest to the competence of the assistant to prescribe drugs and devices.


18VAC85-50-115. Responsibilities of the physician assistant.

A. The physician assistant shall not render independent health care and shall:

1. Perform only those medical care services that are within the scope of the practice and proficiency of the supervising physician as prescribed in the physician assistant's practice agreement. When a physician assistant is to be supervised by an alternate supervising physician outside the scope of specialty of the supervising physician, then the physician assistant's functions shall be limited to those areas not requiring specialized clinical judgment, unless a separate practice agreement for that alternate supervising physician is approved and on file with the board.

2. Prescribe only those drugs and devices as allowed in Part V (18VAC85-50-130 et seq.) of this chapter.

3. Wear during the course of performing his duties identification showing clearly that he is a physician assistant.

B. If, due to illness, vacation, or unexpected absence, the supervising physician or alternate supervising physician is unable to supervise the activities of his assistant, such supervising physician may temporarily delegate the responsibility to another doctor of medicine, osteopathic medicine, or podiatry. The supervising physician so delegating his responsibility shall report such arrangement for coverage, with the reason therefor, to the board office in writing, subject to the following provisions:

1. For planned absence, such notification shall be received at the board office at least one month prior to the absence of both the supervising and alternate supervising physicians;

2. For sudden illness or other unexpected absence that necessitates temporary coverage, the board office shall be notified as promptly as possible, but in no event later than one week; and

3. Temporary coverage may not exceed four weeks unless special permission is granted by the board.

C. With respect to assistants employed by institutions, the following additional regulations shall apply:

1. No assistant may render care to a patient unless the physician responsible for that patient has signed the practice agreement to act as supervising physician for that assistant. The board shall make available appropriate forms for physicians to join the practice agreement for an assistant employed by an institution.

2. Any such practice agreement as described in subdivision 1 of this subsection shall delineate the duties which said physician authorizes the assistant to perform.

3. The assistant shall, as soon as circumstances may dictate, report an acute or significant finding or change in clinical status to the supervising physician concerning the examination of the patient. The assistant shall also record his findings in appropriate institutional records.

D. Practice by a physician assistant in a hospital, including an emergency department, shall be in accordance with ยง 54.1-2952 of the Code of Virginia.