Vast Majority of Adults Support Updating PA Practice Laws

The current survey mirrors the national finding that 91% of US adults support updating PA laws.

Ninety percent of adults surveyed across 10 states support updating physician associate/assistant (PA) practice laws to allow health care systems to fully utilize their workforce, according to a survey by The Harris Poll.

The American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) released reports, that explore patient experiences in California, Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, in follow-up to a national Harris Poll survey AAPA released in May 2023.

“The robust research conducted by The Harris Poll affirms that across the country, patients are feeling anxious and uncertain about their well-being and the future of healthcare. They see PAs as an essential but underutilized group of medical providers whose experience and expertise position them to expand access to care,” AAPA CEO Lisa M. Gables, CPA, said.

The current survey mirrors the national finding that 91% of US adults support updating PA laws. The research also found that 9 in 10 adults say PAs improve the quality of health care, noted AAPA.

The surveyed states represent a diverse cross-section of the American health care landscape. “The surveys capture a wide range of health care experiences, from urban to rural settings and diverse patient pools, reflecting the challenges and strengths within different regions of the country,” said AAPA. Moreover, the 10 states represent “varied PA regulatory environments, providing a more nuanced understanding of health care dynamics and highlighting the importance of PA practice laws in shaping patient care.”

Key state-level findings include the following:

  • Workforce concerns: 68% of adults are concerned that health care workforce shortages will impact them as a patient. Adults in Virginia and Washington were more likely to voice these concerns (77% in both states).
  • Delayed or skipped care: 44% of adults have skipped or delayed health care services they needed in the past 2 years. Adults in Oklahoma and South Dakota were more likely to report skipping or delaying care (55% in both states).
  • Resource shortages: 42% of adults say that their community does not have the resources needed to keep people healthy. Adults in Tennessee and Oklahoma were more likely to report insufficient resources (47% and 46% respectively).
  • Health care coordination challenges: 65% of adults say coordinating and managing health care is overwhelming and time consuming. Adults in Texas and Washington were more likely to report these concerns (71% in both states).

How the Survey Was Conducted

The research was conducted online from February 23 to March 9, 2023, by The Harris Poll on behalf of AAPA and included 2519 adults. In addition to the national sample, oversamples were collected in 6 states including California (n=513), Massachusetts (n=503), Oklahoma (n=507), Tennessee (n=505), Virginia (n=509), and Washington (n=518). Surveys were fielded in Florida (n=510), North Carolina (n=509), South Dakota (n=507), and Texas (n=508), from July 26 to August 13, 2023. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

This article originally appeared on Clinical Advisor


Harris Poll Surveys Reveal Overwhelming Support for Updating PA Practice Laws. News release. American Association of Physician Associates. Accessed September 20, 2023.