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Feb 28 2019

2018 PA compliance checks find issues in one out of three conducted

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Each year, NCMB conducts compliance checks to ensure that physician assistants and their primary supervision physicians are following applicable rules and laws. The Board recently reaffirmed its commitment to continuing these annual reviews, which NCMB first started doing in 2005.

In 2018, site visits to randomly-selected PA practice sites found issues in about one third of all PAs reviewed. Although most instances of noncompliance involved minor issues, some (about 20 percent of cases where issues were noted) site visits revealed violations serious enough to result in Board action.
The two most serious issues noted in 2018 were: 1. Failure to submit the online Intent to Practice form before beginning practice and 2. Failure to document monthly quality improvement (QI) meetings between a PA and a primary supervising physician in a new supervisory arrangement and/or failure by an established PA/physician team to document regular QI meetings.

As a reminder, it is a violation of NCMB administrative rules for a PA to perform medical acts without first submitting an online Intent to Practice Form. This form, which can be found at www.ncmedboard.org/PAResources, is submitted to notify the Board of the primary supervising physician when a PA begins clinical practice, or to add an additional primary supervising physician. IMPORTANT: The Intent to Practice must also be submitted to remove a primary supervising physician. It is the responsibility of the PA to remove former supervising physicians.

It is also established rule that a PA and a supervising physician in a new supervisory arrangement must meet monthly for the first six months and keep written documentation of these meetings. Note that this rule applies regardless of the level of experience of the PA or supervising physician. PA rules are also linked at www.ncmedboard.org/PAResources.

Will I be selected for a compliance check?
The Board randomly selects PAs for compliance checks. Selected PAs are contacted by a Board field investigator, who schedules the site visit. During the visit, PAs will be asked to produce certain documents that are required to be kept on file at each of the PA’s practice locations.

Are you in compliance?
A complete description of the information PAs should expect to provide during a compliance review is available on the PA Site Visit Checklist. This document, as well as PA rules, FAQs and other information, are available on the Board’s website at www.ncmedboard.org/PAResources.

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