DCA’s Latest Waivers Impact PAs


In response to CAPA’s request to Governor Newsom sent on March 25th, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) issued yesterday a formal emergency waiver and guidance on PA supervision requirements.

Key points of the waiver include:

  • RATIO OF PHYSICIANS/PAs SUSPENDED: There is no limit to the number of PAs a physician can supervise. The ratio of one supervising physician to four PAs has been temporarily lifted in all circumstances.
    • A PA may provide those services they are competent to perform and are based on the PAs education, training and experience.
    • If a PA moves from one practice site to another to help with the COVID-19 response, and there is no practice agreement in place at that site, the requirement of a practice agreement is waived. PAs are free to practice in the new location without the need to re-write or draft a new practice agreement.
    • If a supervising physician(s) covered under a practice agreement is not available as a result of the COVID-19 response, the PA may be supervised by other physicians without having to write a new practice agreement.
  • PRESCRIBING AUTHORIZED WITHOUT PRACTICE AGREEMENT: PAs subject to this Executive Order may prescribe without the need for a practice agreement in COVID-19 response-related circumstances, except for Schedule II and III controlled substances, in which a patient-specific order from the supervising physician is required.
  • SUPERVISION REQUIRED: Supervision remains required even if a practice agreement is waived. However, supervision is determined at the practice level based on the professional judgment of the PA and physician.
  • A PA may provide those services they are competent to perform and are based on the PAs education, training and experience
  • This Executive Order is temporary and expires in 60 days from yesterday, April 14th.

“This represents a significant victory for California PAs who want to worry about nothing else but treating their patients during this crisis,” said CAPA President Roy Guizado. “It builds on our unprecedented success in obtaining enactment of SB 697 last year, and the text of the Executive Order closely reflects the examples we offered as to why the Order was needed. No other profession obtained a similar waiver, and we are deeply grateful to the Governor, the DCA, the PAB, and AAPA and The San Francisco Chronicle for their support.”