SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 3255 on Friday, August 24, legislation that expands opportunities for Illinois PAs by allowing them to practice medicine as paramedics.
This legislation was introduced by Senator Chapin Rose (R-Champaign) and Representative Tom Bennett (R-Pontiac). It came from a PA in the Champaign area who was serving as a volunteer paramedic but could not practice medicine while he was on emergency calls.
“This is great news for PAs throughout Illinois and shows that any PA can make a difference,” said Jennifer Orozco, PA-C, Assistant Professor at Rush University Medical Center and the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) Legislative Co-Chair. “PAs have a wide range of knowledge, training, and expertise. It make perfect sense to allow them to use their skills as paramedics within the Illinois Emergency Medical Services System.”
Senate Bill 3255 expands the definition of EMS personnel to include Pre-Hospital Physician Assistants (PHPA). Once rules are adopted, this expansion will give PAs the ability to practice as emergency medical services personnel for pre-hospital and inter-hospital emergency care and non-emergency medical transports in accordance with their level of education and licensure.
“The opportunity for PAs to join community teams as paramedics is a win-win situation for everyone,” says Mindy Sanders, IAPA immediate past-president. “Rural areas will especially benefit from this expanded language.”
IAPA will continue to work with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to ensure that rules for this new law are quickly established.