The Senate approved a bill on a 33-2 vote Friday that its sponsor said is designed to keep more physician assistants in the state. Senate Bill 43, sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, would eliminate the 18-month on-site supervisory period for new physician assistants.
The Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants says Kentucky is the only state that has a law requiring physician assistants who have graduated from a Masters-level program and passed a nationally accredited examination to wait 18 months before seeing patients without a supervising physician physically present. Buford said about half of all new graduates are leaving the state to make an average starting salary of $88,000 in other states. The measure now goes to the House for consideration.