History and Accomplishments

RIAPA has a long history of accomplishments that have afforded Rhode Island PAs with one of the best practice environments in the country. Here's a list of what we have been able to accomplish .........

1976 – RIAPA founded as a Chartered Constituent Organizations of the American Academy of PAs. That same year Rhode Island General Assembly  enacted RIGL 5-54 authorizing PA practice.

1978The Rhode Island Medical Society accepts PAs as members

1982 – RIGL 5-54 amended to specifically to correct technical isssues that impeded the registration of PAs by the Department of Health

1988 – RIGL 5-54 amended to remove the requirement that the supervising physician’s presence was required in the facility at all times.

1991 – PAs granted prescriptive privileges for all legend medications and Schedule V controlled substances. At the same time the restriction of two PAs per supervising physician was deleted for PAs working in hospitals.

1995 – Supervision was redefined by removing “regularly available” and the credential was changed from registration to licensure.

1996 – Requirement for CME was added.

1998 – PAs granted authority to prescribe Schedule II-V controlled substances and unprofessional conduct defined.

1999 – Restriction limiting 2 PAs per supervising physician was eliminated in all settings. In addition PAs were added to the “Professional Corporations Act” thereby allowing PAs to form their own corporations or become partners with PAs, physicians, and other providers. Additionaly, professional misconduct was redefined to allow for non-judicial discipline by the board.

**Rhode Island becomes the first state to achieve all of the AAPA's 6 Key Elements of a Modern PA Practice Act 9 years before the elements were defined**

2003 – RIAPA successfully opposed an amendment to the Rules and Regulations for the licensing of Hospitals which would have prohibited PAs from administering anesthesia in any form including local anesthesia in hospitals

2004 – Radiologic Technology Act amended by adding PAs to the list of professionals exempt from licensure as a radiologic technologist thereby allowing PAs to perform fluoroscopy when practicing within his or her field of expertise. 

2005 – PA regulations amended uncoupling licensing from employment status. 

2005 – RIAPA successfully lobbied against a bill before the Senate HEW Committee which would have granted surgical technologists the same scope of practice as PAs with the exception of prescriptive practice. 

2008 - Rhode Island Medical Society creates PA seat on Governing Council

2011 - Provisions added to RIGL 5-54 allowing PAs to participate in emergencies and disasters without supervision or with whatever physician supervision is available and exempting physicians from supervision requirements.

2019The PA Modernization Act 0f 2019 is enacted making sweeping changes to the law including:

  • changing the PA / physician relationship from supervision to collaboration
  • removing the requirement for a written practice agreement
  • clarifying the extent of collaborating physician's liability for for acts by a PA
  •  and providing that PAs scope of practice be determined  at the practice level based on the PA's skills, education, and training.

2020 -Gov. Gina Raimondo declares a state of emergency on March 9, 2020 due to Covid.  Because of legislation RIAPA lobbied for in 2011, PAs were allowed to aid with more flexibility thus providing additional healthcare support for RI.

2021 - RIAPA successfully petitions EOHHS for regulatory changes to authorize PAs to order home healthcare services.

Check out our Advocacy and Government affairs page to see what else we are working on.

State Advocacy Center

405 Promenade Street, Suite A Providence, RI 02908
401-331-3207 | Contact Us 


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