Physician Assistants Pursue Larger Roles in Hospice and Palliative Care
By Larry Beresford
The role of physician assistants (PAs) in hospice and palliative care has been advancing over the past several years and is poised to keep growing, an encouraging step toward expanding access to palliative care for the increasing number of people living with serious illnesses.
Key to that growth has been a change in federal law that took effect in January 2019 authorizing PAs to serve as designated attending medical providers for patients in hospice care. Though some barriers remain that cloud reimbursement, advocacy groups like the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and Physician Assistants in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (PAHPM) are actively exploring solutions.
More recently, the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care launched a palliative care certificate program for PAs – the first of its kind in the country. The online Physician Assistant Certificate in Palliative and Serious Illness Care will welcome its first cohort of students on May 6.