Licensed Physician Assistant Questions

Q: I just got my license this year. Do I have to complete 40 hours of CME?
A: If your pro-rated initial registration is for less than 12 months, you are exempt from the CME requirement until your subsequent registration.

Q: Who do I contact for annual registration information?
A: Contact Pre-Licensure, Registration and Consumer Services (PRC) at 512-305-7030.

Q: Is there a grace period if I do not pay my annual registration on time?
A: There is no grace period if you do not register your license on time. Once a license becomes delinquent, it is considering practicing without a license to practice as a PA, which may be prosecuted by the local district attorney.  The policy of the Board, however, is that the only administrative penalty is the payment of penalty fees required by statute.

Q: How many hours of CME are required per year?
A: PA's are required to complete 40 hours of CME per year with at least 20 hours being Category I. CME is calculated from registration date to expiration date.

Q: What if I have more than enough hours of CME? Can I use some of the credits for next year?
A: A PA may carry forward a maximum of 80 total excess CME credit hours (40 hours in each category) for up to two years.

Q: Are there any exemptions to the CME requirement?
A: Yes. A PA may request in writing an exemption for catastrophic illness, military service of longer than one year's duration outside the United States, residence of longer than one year's duration outside the United States, or good cause shown that gives satisfactory evidence to the board that the licensee is unable to comply with the requirement for CME. Exemption requests should be submitted in advance of the expiration date of a PA’s permit.

Q: Is the CME requirement for NCCPA the same as that for the Board?
A: No. CME is required annually for Texas Physician Assistant Board as opposed to once every two years for the NCCPA.

Q: How do I register my supervising physician with the Board?
A: Click here for information about the Online Supervisions and Prescriptive Delegation Registration System.

Q: If I change supervising physicians or add a supervising physician, how soon do I need to update the Board?
A: Within 30 days of the change or addition. This can be done through the Online Supervisions and Prescriptive Delegation Registration System, available here.

Q: If my supervising physician is temporarily unavailable (on vacation, out of town) how do I register an alternate physician to provide supervision?
A: This is done through a log kept at the facility.

Q: How do I terminate a supervising physician relationship?
A: The addition of a new supervising physician does not terminate any other supervision that are currently in place. Any current supervising physician relationship can be terminated using the Online Supervisions and Prescriptive Delegation Registration System, available here.

Q: How many physician assistants can a physician supervise?
A: A physician may supervise up to five full-time equivalent PAs for a maximum of 250 clinic hours per week. A full-time equivalent is considered to be 50 hours per week. The only exception relates to prescriptive delegation:  if a physician has been granted a waiver or otherwise has the authority to delegate prescriptive authority to 6 full-time equivalent PAs (see board rules 185.16(f) and 193.6(i)).

Q: How many supervising physicians can a PA have?
A: There is no limit to the number of supervising physicians a PA may have.

Q: How many PAs can a physician delegate prescriptive authority to?
A: A physician may only delegate prescriptive authority to a maximum of four PA's or APN's, or their full-time equivalent.  There are some statutory exceptions for waivers allowing up to six, which must be approved by the board.  Refer to board rule 193.6(i).

Q: Can a PA sign a prescription for controlled substances?
A: Yes, the PAs supervising physician must delegate prescriptive authority allowing a PA to sign prescriptions for controlled substances, also called scheduled drugs, as well as Dangerous Drugs. However, PA's are limited to Schedules III - V. All prescription drugs that are not controlled substances fall into the category of "dangerous drugs." A list of controlled substances can be found at: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/dmd/control_subst_sched.shtm . Physician assistants with prescriptive authority must have their own DPS and DEA numbers to prescribe controlled substances.  In addition, physician assistants must have the name of their current delegating physician authorizing prescriptive authority on file with DPS.  If a physician assistant does not notify the DPS of a new physician within 60 days of a supervision/delegation termination, the physician assistant’s DPS number will be terminated. Click here for more information.

Q: Does delegation of prescriptive authority have to be registered with the TMB as well?
A: Yes, Senate Bill 532 was passed by the 81st Legislature.  Effective 1/31/2010, registration by physicians of delegated prescriptive authority to PAs or APNs is required. Click here for more information on the delegation of prescriptive authority to PAs.

Q: Can a PA call in a prescription to a pharmacy?
A: Yes, a PA can call in a prescription to a pharmacy. However, the PA can only do so at the direction of a physician.

Q: What are the laws or rules concerning a PA's scope of practice?
A: Board Rule 185.10 covers Physician Assistant Scope of Practice.