Schedule II

87th Legislative Bill Number: HB1524
Bill Author: Rep. Lucio III 

The state of Texas currently limits the prescribing of schedule II medications by a PA to hospice and inpatient care settings, leaving out the ability for PAs to treat patient’s pain in all other settings. This disproportionately affects PAs in surgery and pain management who are unable to care for patients’ pain, chained by these outdated regulations. This also affects patients seeking treatment for ADHD, as medications for this condition are also categorized as schedule II and under the same regulation by the State of Texas. Further, schedule II medications can only be filled at inpatient pharmacies, limiting the number of places that a patient can fill their prescription. These unnecessary regulations have failedto put the patient first, limiting access to care and creating barriers to optimal and timely treatment.

As was demonstrated with the ongoing COVID-19 crises, PAs in Texas are asolution to the problem, capable and ready of providing quality care to patients in need.

For this reason, TAPA is seeking to expand schedule II authority to all PAs in all health caresettings.

Practice Management & Ownership

87th Legislative Bill Number: HB504
Bill Author: Rep. Michelle Beckley

Currently in Texas, PAs can become minority owners of a medical practice, whether that bean entity organized as a corporation, a professional partnership, a professional associationor a professional LLC with the purpose of providing services that fall within the scope ofpractice of those practitioners. However, the PA is prevented from becoming an officer orparticipating in the business management of these partnerships. This, in effect, makes thePA a “silent partner” in a business in which they have a financial stake. HB 514, authored byRep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), is seeking to allow PAs to be officers and to be able to participate in the management of medical practices in which they have a minority ownership stake.

The bill does not change the ownership stake of any partner, nor does interfere with the medical judgement of anyone in the practice.This is the second legislative session that TAPA has introduced this bill. In 2019, the bill was passed unanimously out of the House Public Health Committee.

Mental Health Recognition

87th Legislative Bill Number: HB2093
Bill Author: Reps. Cortez & Dr. Oliverson

In the Texas Mental Health and Safety Code, PAs are not included in the list of “non-physician mental health professionals.” PAs provide direct patient care, and have delegated prescriptive authority to treat mental illness in a variety of specialties. Many PAs prescribe medications to treat anxiety or depression; however, not having formal recognition has created issues with reimbursement for the care performed. In turn, private physician offices and healthcare entities fail to hire physician assistants to work in mental health. Across the state, this decreases the number of available providers to serve the mental health needs of Texas.

Call to Action: 

On Wednesday, March 31st at 8:00am, the House Committee on Public Health will be meeting to discuss HB 2093, the PA Mental Health Bill. There are multiple ways for you to take action to let the House Committee on Public Health know you support this legislation.

  1. Login to Aristotle , click on the "TAKE ACTION" link at the top of the website, and click the alert listed. From there, you will see all of the members of the House Committee on Public Health, and the letter TAPA has put together for you to send. If you want to edit any part of the letter, you can do so using the "Edit All Representative" Button. When you're happy with the email, click the Blue "Send All" Button.
  2. Submit Public Comments on the Bill via . From there, select HB 2093 by Phil Cortez with the description " Relating to including licensed physician assistants in the definition of non-physician mental health professional for purposes of certain provisions applicable to non-physician mental health professionals. Enter your comments and go! 

If you are interested in watching the comments online but don't want to travel to Austin, you are able to watch online at  starting at 8:00am on Wednesday, March 31st. 

Collaborative Practice

87th Legislative Bill Number: HB 4352
Bill Author:  Rep. Michelle Beckley

The State of Texas defines a PA’s relationship with a specific physician in a supervisory role.This also makes the physician liable for all the care the PA provides, even if the physician isnot directly involved with the patient. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Abbott relaxed several statutes that helped facilitate a more flexible relationship between a physician and a PA, which helped to improve access to care for Texas patients without any detriment to their health. TAPA seeks to revise state law to reflect the actual day-to-day workings of the PA-physician team and how they take care of patients, and removes the liability of a physician working with a PA if they did not help directly care for a patient.Simply put, PAs are practicing in a collaborative manner with physicians in a team-based approach to patient care. This is in line with AAPA’s policy of Optimal Team Practice.”


Signing of Death Certificates

87th Legislative Bill Number: HB 4048
Bill Author: Rep. Allison

Current state law allows PAs to pronounce death in Texas; however, they can only signdeath certificates in the case of hospice patients they are directly caring for. Since then, PAs have safely been able to certify death with these patients. TAPA is seeking to expand the ability for PAs to sign death certificates in all settings. This ability will prevent any unnecessary delays by having to find a physician who may not have been directly caring for the patient to sign off on death certification simply because the law states so.