Resources & Information

COVID-19 FAQs related to SL 2020-3

What is S704 (SL 2020-3)?

On May 4, 2020, Governor Cooper signed into law SL (Session Law) 2020-3.  This new law prohibits the Medical Board from enforcing the requirements for quality improvement meetings between physician assistants and their supervising physicians under certain circumstances.


How does the Board interpret SL 2020-3?

For physician assistants licensed prior to February 1, 2020 and practicing within their scope of practice as defined by their written supervisory arrangements, the Board will not enforce the quality improvement meeting requirements found in 21 NCAC 32S .0213(e).  Physician assistants licensed after February 1, 2020 and physician assistants working outside their scope of practice because they have been reassigned to meet critical needs per the Board’s March 31, 2020 Order are not required to have monthly quality improvement meetings for the first six months.  However, these physician assistants shall have quality improvement meetings every six months. 

Even though quality improvement meetings are no longer required under certain circumstances per SL 2020-3, physician assistants and their supervising physicians may still choose to have these meetings.  The Board encourages physician assistants and their supervising physicians to continue to engage in quality improvement processes to ensure high quality patient care.


Does SL 2020-3 only apply to those responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

No, it applies to all physician assistants.


How does SL 2020-3 affect the Board’s Order regarding the emergency reassignment of physician assistants during the pandemic?

For physician assistants licensed prior to February 1, 2020, the Board will not enforce the requirements for quality improvement meetings and the documentation of those meetings, so long as the physician assistant was practicing within their scope of practice before February 1, 2020 and continues to do so.  For physician assistants licensed on or after February 1, 2020 (“newly licensed physician assistants”) as well as physician assistants working emergency reassignments and practicing outside their scope as defined by their written supervisory arrangements, monthly quality improvement meetings do not need be held for the first six months but shall occur every six months.


The Board’s Order related to emergency reassignments states that PAs reassigned within a facility or multi-specialty practice do not have to file a new intent to practice with the Board or update their supervisory arrangement prior to beginning the new assignment. However, the Order also states the reassigned PA is expected to comply with all other applicable Board rules. What are the “other applicable Board rules”?

“Other applicable Board rules” means all other rules found in 21 NCAC 32S ; however, PAs licensed prior to February 1, 2020, do not have to hold monthly quality improvement meetings so long as they were practicing within their scope practice before February 1, 2020, and continue to do so.  Newly licensed physician assistants and reassigned physician assistants working outside of their scope are not required to have monthly quality improvement meetings for the first six months but do need to meet every six months.  SL 2020-3 supersedes section 2 of the Order which states the physician assistant must “confer at least monthly with a physician to ensure meaningful supervision and quality assurance within the new practice setting.”

Even though quality improvement meetings are no longer required under certain circumstances per SL 2020-3, physician assistants and their supervising physicians may still choose to have these meetings.  The Board encourages physician assistants and their supervising physicians to continue to engage in quality improvement processes to ensure high quality patient care.


How long will the enforcement moratorium imposed by SL 2020-3 be in place?

Until December 31, 2021.