Remote supervision of physician assistants by physicians expanded 

Posted on 6/22/16

In 2015, the Oklahoma Legislature passed SB 753, supported by the Oklahoma Hospital Association, which allowed MDs to supervise two physician assistants remotely through telemedicine. In 2016, the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision (OSBMLS) passed a rule that expanded the allowed remote supervision by MDs from two to up to four physician assistants by telemedicine. As of the June 9 declaration of Gov. Mary Fallin, the rules promulgated from SB 753 are approved. The enacting of the rule change for four physician assistants to be supervised is a major step forward in recognizing and assisting in the health care workforce shortage in Oklahoma. 

The relevant language from the OSBMLS rule 435:15-3-13 Supervising physician; alternatives is listed below and also available here :

(C) Physician assistants supervised.
(1) A supervising physician shall not serve as the supervising physician for more than four (4) physician assistants practicing at any one time.
(2) Subsection (c)(1) shall not apply to a supervising physician who is a medical director or supervising physician of a state institution, correctional facility, or hospital.

Please note that osteopaths are governed separately by the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners and that board has modified the DO supervision of physician assistants to four also. See 510: 10-4-3 Responsibility of Supervising Osteopathic Physician here.

SB 753 (David/ Cox) 
Modernization of Physician Assistant Act  
(Effective Nov. 1, 2015)
This legislation modifies the Physician Assistant Practice Act by permitting the supervising physician to be available to a physician assistant by telemedicine, enabling the requirement for co-signature of hospital orders to be determined by the hospital, revising the four-hour per week on-site supervision to be determined by the supervising physician, and eliminating confusion regarding how PAs and physicians provide follow up for new patients and patients presenting with chronic or complex illnesses. The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision will promulgate rules to enact the new law.