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Monday, February 22, 2010

TMA: PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS CANNOT EMPLOY THEIR SUPERVISING PHYSICIANS

The Texas Physician Assistant Board should not adopt a proposed rule that would allow a physician assistant (PA) to “employ” his or her supervising physician, even as an “independent contractor,” Dr. Fleming wrote in a letter to the board. “A physician cannot meaningfully supervise the person paying his salary or fees as an independent contractor,” Dr. Fleming wrote. The rule also would violate Texas’ prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine, he said. Those issues and more came up in a meeting Dr. Fleming, TMA senior staff, and I had with Mari Robinson, who is executive director of both the Texas Medical Board (TMB) and the Physician Assistant Board. We also discussed how the 5-percent reduction in the TMB budget — required of all state agencies by our top elected officials — would affect its ability to process license applications.

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