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Summary | AAPA Leadership & Advocacy Summit 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017  
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Pictured (l to r): Matthew Brunner PA-C, Archana Sangha PA-C, Martha Sikes PA-C. and Lindsay Martin (SDPA staff member).

We had the pleasure of attending the 2017 AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit (LAS) on behalf of the SDPA in Arlington, Virginia. This conference highlighted the many current and controversial issues affecting daily PA practice and was attended by PA leaders from across the country. Below is a synopsis of the main topics discussed.

1.) Full Practice Authority Rights (FPAR)
Passionate debate occurred discussing the potential pros and cons of FPAR.

The overarching pro was that FPAR would keep PA practice relevant in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. As physician owned practices are decreasing and corporations are increasing, FPAR would enable PA licensure to no longer be coupled to that of a physician, allowing for job mobility and reducing physician liability for PAs they supervise. Many argued that in 22 states NPs already have FPAR and it’s only a matter of time until all states give NPs FPAR. In order to stay competitive, it was suggested by some that we will be antiquating ourselves by not moving forward to pursue FPAR.

The majority agreed that the largest con to FPAR was alienating ourselves from the physician relationships that we currently enjoy - would physicians consider us a threat? Many suggested changing the name FPAR to something less intimidating in an effort to help alleviate some anticipated fears from physicians.

The AAPA made it clear that this discussion was intended to gather data and the AAPA board has yet to decide whether they will be advocating for FPAR. The FPAR Task Force was to meet following the Leadership and Advocacy Summit and consider the comments submitted to date including those collected in the recent AAPA survey on FPAR. The final revision is expected to be submitted to the AAPA House of Delegates in May 2017 for consideration.

2.) The Future of PA Recertification
In regards to NCCPA's previous threats of drastically modifying the recertification structure for PAs, the AAPA stated that “they oppose exams without evidence that shows improved patient care.” They urged NCCPA to make evidence-based decisions and not opinion-based decisions.

The AAPA Board of Directors did commission a feasibility study for a replacement certification board for PAs. The results of that study were presented to all those in attendance. While the potential exists to set up a replacement certification, there exists concern from ARC-PA, PAEA and some PA leaders that we may be fracturing the profession. Still, there remains considerable pressure from PAs to consider this as an alternative path or risk becoming subjected to further NCCPA certification requirements that are onerous and contribute to PA certification expenses with no evidence that they improve patient outcomes. The AAPA Board of Directors will be considering whether to move forward with the initiative or place it on hold at their next meeting.

3.) Changes in Healthcare Reimbursement and its Effects on the PA Profession
Discussed the new quality based programs replacing meaningful use. These programs include: The merit-incentive payment system (MIPS) and the advanced alternative payment models (Advanced APMs). Understanding the new programs is important for two main reasons: 1) Reimbursements: you will either be penalized or incentivized based on your enrollment and performance. 2) Reputation: you will be rated on a website called “physician compare”, which scores providers based on how they perform within these programs.

The government is still developing many of the components to these newly launched programs and thus, the programs are themselves in a constant state of change. Please refer to  for up to date information.

We were grateful to represent the SDPA at the 2017 LAS. It’s clear that as the PA profession commemorates its fiftieth anniversary, the path before us gleams with infinite possibility. We urge you to be a force for positive change by getting involved in leadership. Visit for a list of standing committees.


Matthew Brunner PA-C
Archana Sangha PA-C
Martha Sikes PA-C


SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Conference 2018 - NOW OPEN!
June 28-July 1, 2018 – Westin Hotel – Seattle, WA
Pre-Conference June 27

16th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference 2018
November 1-4, 2018 – Loews Portofino –Orlando, FL

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