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Bill increasing access to medical care, sponsored by Rep. Sheldon, signed into law

Frankfort, KY (March 30, 2020)- Legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve Sheldon of Bowling Green to increase access to health care by allowing physician assistants (PAs) to prescribe certain controlled substances was signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear last week. Kentucky is the only state in the nation that does not allow PAs to prescribe some level of controlled substances.

"While our state faces down one of the most dangerous pandemics in modern history, this bill makes major strides in increasing access to quality health care. I am pleased that this bill made it across the finish line with broad bipartisan support," Sheldon said. "Approximately 1,800 physician assistants practice in Kentucky, and a majority of them act as primary care providers in our state's rural communities. This measure will increase access to care for our state's most under-served areas." 

Under this bill, PA's must have one year of experience to be eligible for this prescriptive authority. The measure also requires a physician assistant who gains prescriptive privileges to complete a total of 10 hours of continuing education every two years in controlled substances diversion, pain management, and addiction disorders. 

Physician's assistants will be subject to the oversight of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. Supervising physicians who do not want their physician assistant to have prescriptive authority will not be required to submit or approve an application. 

The law will go into effect 90 days after the General Assembly adjourns for the 2020 Legislative Session. To view specific details of the measure, visit the Legislative Research Commission website at or follow the link here



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