CHAPTER _______

An act to amend Section 2069 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 352, Pavley. Medical assistants: supervision.

Existing law authorizes a medical assistant to perform specified services relating to the administration of medication and performance of skin tests and simple routine medical tasks and procedures upon specific authorization from and under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon or podiatrist, or in a specified clinic upon specific authorization of a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse-midwife. Existing law requires the Board of Registered Nursing to issue a certificate to practice nurse-midwifery to a qualifying applicant who is licensed pursuant to the Nursing Practice Act.

This bill would delete the requirement that the services performed by the medical assistant be in a specified clinic when under the specific authorization of a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse-midwife. The bill would prohibit a nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant from authorizing a medical assistant to perform any clinical laboratory test or examination for which the medical assistant is not authorized, as specified, a violation of which would constitute unprofessional conduct. The bill would also delete several obsolete references and make other clarifying, conforming, technical, and nonsubstantive changes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1.  

Section 2069 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2069.  

(a) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, a medical assistant may administer medication only by intradermal, subcutaneous, or intramuscular injections and perform skin tests and additional technical supportive services upon the specific authorization and supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon or a licensed podiatrist. A medical assistant may also perform all these tasks and services upon the specific authorization of a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife.

(2) The supervising physician and surgeon may, at his or her discretion, in consultation with the nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant, provide written instructions to be followed by a medical assistant in the performance of tasks or supportive services. These written instructions may provide that the supervisory function for the medical assistant for these tasks or supportive services may be delegated to the nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant within the standardized procedures or protocol, and that tasks may be performed when the supervising physician and surgeon is not onsite, if either of the following apply:

(A) The nurse practitioner or certified nurse-midwife is functioning pursuant to standardized procedures, as defined by Section 2725, or protocol. The standardized procedures or protocol, including instructions for specific authorizations, shall be developed and approved by the supervising physician and surgeon and the nurse practitioner or certified nurse-midwife.

(B) The physician assistant is functioning pursuant to regulated services defined in Section 3502, including instructions for specific authorizations, and is approved to do so by the supervising physician and surgeon.

(b) As used in this section and Sections 2070 and 2071, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Medical assistant” means a person who may be unlicensed, who performs basic administrative, clerical, and technical supportive services in compliance with this section and Section 2070 for a licensed physician and surgeon or a licensed podiatrist, or group thereof, for a medical or podiatry corporation, for a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife as provided in subdivision (a), or for a health care service plan, who is at least 18 years of age, and who has had at least the minimum amount of hours of appropriate training pursuant to standards established by the board. The medical assistant shall be issued a certificate by the training institution or instructor indicating satisfactory completion of the required training. A copy of the certificate shall be retained as a record by each employer of the medical assistant.

(2) “Specific authorization” means a specific written order prepared by the supervising physician and surgeon or the supervising podiatrist, or the physician assistant, the nurse practitioner, or the certified nurse-midwife as provided in subdivision (a), authorizing the procedures to be performed on a patient, which shall be placed in the patient’s medical record, or a standing order prepared by the supervising physician and surgeon or the supervising podiatrist, or the physician assistant, the nurse practitioner, or the certified nurse-midwife as provided in subdivision (a), authorizing the procedures to be performed, the duration of which shall be consistent with accepted medical practice. A notation of the standing order shall be placed on the patient’s medical record.

(3) “Supervision” means the supervision of procedures authorized by this section by the following practitioners, within the scope of their respective practices, who shall be physically present in the treatment facility during the performance of those procedures:

(A) A licensed physician and surgeon.

(B) A licensed podiatrist.

(C) A physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse-midwife as provided in subdivision (a).

(4) “Technical supportive services” means simple routine medical tasks and procedures that may be safely performed by a medical assistant who has limited training and who functions under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon or a licensed podiatrist, or a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife as provided in subdivision (a).

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing any of the following:

(1) The licensure of medical assistants.

(2) The administration of local anesthetic agents by a medical assistant.

(3) The board to adopt any regulations that violate the prohibitions on diagnosis or treatment in Section 2052.

(4) A medical assistant to perform any clinical laboratory test or examination for which he or she is not authorized by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1200).

(5) A nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant to be a laboratory director of a clinical laboratory, as those terms are defined in paragraph (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 1206 and subdivision (a) of Section 1209.

(d) A nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, or physician assistant shall not authorize a medical assistant to perform any clinical laboratory test or examination for which the medical assistant is not authorized by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1200). A violation of this subdivision constitutes unprofessional conduct.

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, a medical assistant shall not be employed for inpatient care in a licensed general acute care hospital, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.

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