Delegation of Services Agreement Between Supervising Physician and Physician Assistant: What You Need to Know

In the healthcare industry, physician assistants (PAs) serve an essential role in providing quality patient care. However, their level of autonomy is limited, and they are required to work under the supervision of a licensed physician. This is where the Delegation of Services Agreement (DSA) comes into play.

A DSA is a legal contract between the supervising physician and the physician assistant that outlines the services and tasks that the PA is authorized to perform, under the supervision of the physician. Essentially, it establishes the scope of the PA’s practice within the context of the physician’s practice.

The primary objective of a DSA is to ensure that the delegation of responsibilities from the physician to the PA conforms to the laws and regulations established by state medical boards. It is also designed to protect the patient’s safety by ensuring that the physician and PA work together effectively and that the PA operates within their technical competence.

The DSA should clearly define the scope of practice for the supervising physician and the PA, including the extent to which the PA may perform medical procedures, prescribe medications, and interpret diagnostic tests. It should also outline the specific circumstances under which the supervising physician can assume primary responsibility for the patient’s care.

A well-written DSA should also include provisions for communication between the supervising physician and the PA, including regular meetings to discuss patient care, supervision requirements, and review of patient charts. It should also outline the process for implementing any changes to the DSA, including the possibility for the supervising physician to revoke the agreement.

In addition, the DSA should specify the liability and responsibility of each party in the event of any adverse outcomes resulting from services provided by the PA. It should also outline the insurance requirements for both parties, including professional liability insurance.

When drafting a DSA, it is essential to consider the relevant state laws and regulations governing PA practice. Each state has its own requirements for the content and format of a DSA. Therefore, it is essential to consult with legal and regulatory experts to ensure that the agreement is compliant with state regulations.

In conclusion, a DSA is a crucial document for any physician seeking to delegate responsibilities to a PA. It should outline the scope of practice for both parties, establish communication guidelines, define liability and responsibility, and comply with state regulations. By having a well-crafted DSA, the supervising physician and PA can work together to provide high-quality patient care effectively.