Distributed each spring following the close of Indiana's legislative session, the Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants' IN the Know Survey is an annual priorities survey open to all Indiana PAs. The IN the Know Survey seeks to gather information on the views and wishes of Indiana PAs to be utilized to help guide IAPA's current and future legislative and advocacy goals and ensure they continue represent the current wishes of ALL Indiana PAs.
2022 Survey Results:
Increasing the Awareness of the PA Profession to the Public in Indiana
Deemed your most important priority, your Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants could not agree more! With recent changes to invigorate and expand the footprint of Indiana Physician Assistant public exposure, the Public Relations & Communications team is committed to highlighting the impact and value of Physician Assistants to Hoosiers across the state. To increase the public perception what PAs can and are doing, IAPA is excited to continue to focus on and highlight the advanced and exceptional responsibilities, tasks and roles Indiana PAs play.
Please feel free to click on the link above to access IAPA's most recent new, links to public television news interviews/specials, as well as our public social media channels, to like, follow and watch!
Authorizing Direct Payment to PAs
Allowing PAs to be eligible for direct payment will eliminate an important disparity between PAs and other providers, particularly nurse practitioners (NPs). Unlike physicians and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), which include NPs, PAs are not eligible for direct payment from Medicare and nearly all commercial insurance payers. Most payers require that payment be made to a PA’s employer, which can unintentionally limit PA employment opportunities with staffing companies and in certain practice arrangements, such as when hospitals contract with a group practice to provide services. In Indiana, PAs must have the same reimbursement flexibility enjoyed by other Indiana healthcare professionals, so we are not disadvantaged in the marketplace. That is why the Indiana Academy of PAs has fought hard and will continue to fight, to stop limiting statutory reimbursement language, and will continue to seek opportunities to introduce a reimbursement mandate, that requires commercial third-party payers to reimburse for services provided by PAs.
Preferential Employment of NPs over PAs in Indiana
IAPA has multiple committee's and individuals devoted to addressing this issue. The Legislative & Advocacy Committee's House Bill 1346 sought to remove the collaborating physician to PA ratio, which IAPA has been told is seen as an impediment to hiring PAs by many hospital administrators. The Membership Committee seeks to continue establishing partnerships with Indiana hospital systems to strengthen their commitment to PA hiring practices. Also, the Public Relations & Communications Committee will continue to increase the exposure of the Physician Assistant profession to Indiana hospital systems. IAPA also plans to work closely with the IAPA Student Board to increase exposure of PA job openings to recent graduates, and the Board of Directors is currently evaluating options to improve IAPA's Career Center.
Adjusting the Board Regulating PAs in Indiana
In regards to creating a separate majority-PA board to regulate PAs, or add PAs and physicians who work with PAs to medical or healing arts boards; IAPA is happy to inform all Indiana PAs that it is working closely with the Indiana PLA, the Physician Assistant Committee and Indiana Medical Licensing Board of Indiana to evaluate options to ensure safe, equitable and accurate regulation of Indiana PAs.
Eliminating PA and Physician Requirement
Indiana PAs assume many advanced roles across the state and are frequently integrated in teams with physicians, fellow PAs and other medical providers. IAPA will continue to monitor upcoming legislation to ensure that the mandatory requirement for a collaborating agreement with a physician (MD or DO) does not serve as an impediment to PA employment in Indiana and allowing Indiana PAs to practice to their utmost of their training and expertise.
Changing Our Name to Physician Associate
On May 24, 2021, the AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) passed a resolution affirming “physician associate” as the official title of the PA profession. AAPA has transitioned to the American Academy of Physician Associates but IAPA remains the Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants. Title change implementation is a complex undertaking that will take time to wholly implement at a national level outside of our state. Indiana PAs must continue to use “physician assistant” or “PA” as their official legal title in a professional capacity, particularly in clinical settings and with patients. Title change inside and outside of our state involves other national PA organizations (PAEA, NCCPA, and ARC-PA), Indiana PA programs, as well as state and federal governments, regulators, and employers. Based on these most recent survey results, IAPA's focus to prioritize the other issues over this one has been reinforced.