Medical Assisting Rights in Connecticut

Good afternoon, everyone! In the coming weeks, I’ll try to keep you updated on legal developments happening across the country. Be sure to check back and stay informed about what’s happening in your state.

Under the excellent leadership of Holly Martin, CMA (AAMA), the Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants is making great progress in regaining the right of medical assistants to be delegated administration of medication (including by injection).  The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and some primary care specialty societies are supportive of a legislative expansion of medical assistants’ scope of duties.  I have participated in conference calls with the Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs of CSMS, and a physician who is chairing a public policy committee of CSMS, as well as legislative leaders of specialty societies.  I have sent documents and articles to these individuals, and have also offered to assist with the drafting of legislation.  With our continued collaboration, there is good reason for optimism about the right to practice goals of the Connecticut Society.

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, executive director and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
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15 Responses to Medical Assisting Rights in Connecticut

  1. Mirta Houston says:

    It is exciting to hear the progress and recognition of medical assistants accross our country. Looking forward to more encouraging news about our profession.
    Mirta Houston, CMA, Houston, TX

  2. Todd Lahser,CMA says:

    thanks for all your hard work Don, Now if we can take bigger steps in New York, keep up the good work

  3. Terri Hicks says:

    I am a medical asst in Michigan as well as the Office Mger at a busy OB/GYN office. We have just found out that the previous Manager had hired a clinical nurse with no formal schooling what is the protocol for what she can and can’t do ex: injections, calling in Rx. I am not sure what to do please help! Thank you in advance for your time.
    Terri Hicks
    MA/ Office Manager

  4. Alison F says:

    Thank you for being in our corner, Don! Since this was posted on January are there any new updates? What exactly are the rights of MAs in CT?
    Thaks again
    Alison Fontecchio CMA/CPT in CT

    • You are welcome, Alison, and thank you for your kind words! There are no updates since January, but the leaders of the Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants have been working hard and effectively, and progress is being made.

      Here is the position of the Connecticut Department of Public Health:

      Department of Public Health
      410 Capitol Avenue
      Hartford, CT 06134

      Phone:
      (860) 509-8000

      The Department of Public Health, through its Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Section, regulates a variety of health professions. In this capacity we have reviewed written documents and commentary from professional groups representing medical assistants and medical assistant educators, at the local and national level. Also, we have reviewed standards for the education of medical assistants. Based upon this review we provide the following informal advice.

      A number of regulated professions have scopes of practice, which may impact, or be impacted by, roles of the medical assistant. For example, the Board of Examiners for Nursing has issued a Declaratory Ruling – Delegation by Licensed Nurses To Unlicensed Assistive Personnel. This document outlines parameters within which a licensed nurse may delegate to unlicensed assistive personnel, engaged in assisting nurses in carrying out nursing activities. Also, Section 20-9 of the General Statutes of Connecticut dictate to whom a licensed physician may delegate aspects of care. Medical assistants are not identified in that listing of providers. While emergency services providers are certified, not licensed, their roles also are regulated.

      However, there is a realm of unregulated activity which may be engaged in by an unlicensed person, such as a medical assistant. If these activities do not require licensure as a health care provider, or are not considered to be nursing activities, which can only be delegated by a licensed nurse to an unlicensed person, then we do not see the conflict in the functioning of medical assistants with licensure acts. Examples of specifically prohibited activities are radiography and medication administration by any route (including oxygen, immunizations, and tuberculin testing). Also, the professional judgment piece of any regulated profession, e.g., assessment, diagnosing, planning, and evaluation of clients or their care, can never be delegated. However, data collection by unlicensed persons, to be used by licensed professionals within the aforementioned activities, is not a licensed activity. Also, health maintenance education not related to a specific diagnosis, and thus, not requiring judgment or adaptation of a teaching plan, does not require a license. The assisting in the handling of equipment in preparation for procedures, or follow-up to procedures, including equipment maintenance usually is outside of the realm of the restrictions pertaining to regulated professions.

      It is understood that medical assisting schools prepare graduates to function in a number of states, and thus, specific content must be addressed. Clinical experiences which requires health professional licensure cannot be engaged in within Connecticut. Simulation exercises may occur, and clinical placement in other states, consistent with their practice acts, may be feasible.

      This is not intended to be binding on any party and is not a Declaratory Ruling. The Department and, if applicable, respective Board or Commission, will not be precluded from adjudicating the issue in a contested case forum should the necessity arise.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  5. John Whittel says:

    Any new strides in CT for MA’s

    • Thank you for your question. Holly Martin, CMA (AAMA), public policy leader in the Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants, has done a great job gathering support from organized medicine groups and other key actors in CT. We are working on legislation that would be introduced in the next session of the Connecticut legislature. Here is more specific language about Connecticut from my report to the AAMA Board of Trustees:

      Under the excellent leadership of Holly Martin, CMA (AAMA), the Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants has continued to make steady progress in regaining the right of medical assistants to be delegated administration of medication (including by injection). The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and some primary care specialty societies are supportive of a legislative expansion of medical assistants’ scope of duties. Mr. Balasa has participated in conference calls with the Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs of CSMS, and a physician who is chairing a public policy committee of CSMS, and legislative leaders of specialty societies. The Executive Director has sent documents and articles to these individuals, and has offered to assist with the drafting of legislation. There is good reason for optimism about the right to practice goals of the Connecticut Society.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let me know how I can be of further assistance.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  6. Rebecca Rivera says:

    Any new developments on this matter?

    • Thank you for your question. The Connecticut Society of Medical Assistants (CSMA) is making progress in its efforts to regain the scope of practice rights of medical assistants. The leadership of the CSMA has made important and helpful contacts within organized medicine in CT, and these discussions are proving to be very constructive.

      Although there is no significant news to announce at this point in time, I am confident that the CSMA will achieve victory, just as the Nevada Society of Medical Assistants did earlier this year.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  7. Leyann says:

    Any new updates for CSMA, scope of practice?

  8. Kim says:

    What is the latest news on injection administration given by an MA?

    • Thank you for your question. We are finalizing the wording of legislation that would permit physicians to delegate to medical assistants who meet education and credentialing requirements and who work in direct physician supervision in outpatient settings the administration of medication by certain routes. It is likely that this legislation will be introduced into the Connecticut legislation in early 2014.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262  |  Fax: 312/899-1259  |  http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook  

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

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