Physician assistants in Ohio now have more authority to make decisions—including more freedom to prescribe drugs—under a new law signed into effect by Gov. John Kasich. While PAs still must work under the supervision of a physician, they have more autonomy when it comes to ordering diagnostics, prescribing or directly providing medications, and administering local anesthesia. While urgent care centers typically have physicians on site most or all of the time, retail clinics like those found in drugstores and chain supermarkets are often staffed by midlevel providers such as PAs and nurse practitioners. Such arrangements undoubtedly reduce salary burden, but ready access to a physician in an urgent care center is likely a reassuring factor for patients—as well as a clinical necessity for higher acuity presentations.
Ohio Law Gives PAs More Clinical Authority with Less Physician Oversight