The Latest Medical News for Physician Assistants

Physician Assistant News

The health care industry is an ever-changing world or policy, protocols and people. Even on your days off, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest medical news that pertains specifically to physician assistants like yourself. 

Here, to help you stay abreast of important information that could help advance your career and deliver exceptional patient care, is the latest medical news for physician assistants:

Medicare patients may soon have more access to physician assistants

According to a recent story published on, President Obama’s administration has proposed a lift on the current ban that prevents physician assistants and nurse practitioners from providing direct care to Medicare patients in their homes. 

If accepted, the proposed change could have a significant impact on both elderly patients and physician assistants. 

Right now, physician assistants are only allowed to provide direct care to Medicare patients in nursing facilities and other inpatient care centers. These limitations on patient access can make it difficult for some elderly Medicare patients to get the care they need–especially in areas of the country where physicians are in short supply. 

For physician assistants, a rule change could lead to greater career opportunities and advancement, more job prospects and the ability to expand their skill set by monitoring patients remotely and providing care for chronic and other conditions in patients’ homes. 

Physician assistants moving into specialty fields 

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when physician assistants were viewed as exclusively primary care professionals. Those days are gone. 

In what might be the most exciting of all the latest medical news stories about physicians assistants, Forbes has reported that more than 70 percent of all physicians assistants are now working in specialty areas of medicine such as surgery and emergency medicine

According to the Forbes report, the role change for physician assistants is due in large part to doctor shortages, which are only expected to grow between now and 2025, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges

What does this mean for physicians assistants? In the short term, it means more opportunities to expand your skill set. In the long run, it could lead to increased pay and job security. 

Physician assistants are in demand

It is quite possible that there has never been a better time to be a physician assistant. Government officials and hospital administrators want to increase their roles and responsibilities–which leads typically leads to increased pay–and hospitals and clinics across the country can’t hire them fast enough. 

In September, websites, newspapers and industry journals reported that the fastest growing field in medicine is that of the physician assistant. 

According to the reports, the demand for physician assistants is being driven by two main factors: a shortage of physicians and an increased reliance on team practicing team medicine. Whatever the reason, being in high-demand is good news for anyone who is considering making a job switch or just entering the profession. 

Physician assistants may soon be able to prescribe buprenorphine

It’s no secret that opioid addiction is an epidemic that has touched every community across the country. Local and national leaders have been looking for a way to address the problem, and now Congress is calling on physician assistants to help. 

The American Academy of Physician Assistants reports that Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 in July. In doing so, lawmakers made it possible for physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine to people suffering from opioid addiction. 

Buprenorphine is widely used to treat opioid addiction and is often preferred over other drugs because it has a lower potential for misuse and overt abuse. 

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