Physician Delegation: Standing Orders

Under the laws of most states, physicians are permitted to delegate by means of standing orders to knowledgeable and competent medical assistants as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. The standing order is understood by the medical assistant
  2. The standing order is for a task that is delegable to medical assistants under the laws of the state, and the delegating physician is exercising the degree of supervision required by the laws of the state
  3. The standing order is applicable to all patients without exception
  4. The standing order does not require the medical assistant to exercise independent professional judgment, or to make clinical assessments, evaluations, or interpretations

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
This entry was posted in delegation, On the Job, Scope of Practice, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Physician Delegation: Standing Orders

  1. Elizabeth Handy says:

    Can you further clarify ” all patients”? For example, the practice has a standing order for medication refill by medication category. Does that suffice for all patients needing that particular refill?

    • Thank you for your question. “All patients” is not limited to “all patients who need a particular refill.” It more generally refers to all patients.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

  2. lexa says:

    please clarify, do they still need need to be cerified?

    • Thank you for your question. In what state are you located? The laws vary somewhat from state to state.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

  3. les says:

    Standing orders on Immunizations – if patient brings in a immunization record – can a MA determine and give the appropriate immunizations?

    • Thank you for your question. Who issued the standing order that the patient brings in?

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

  4. Ricky says:

    I’m an EMT basic working for a pediatric office as an MA. I was told I was hired as an MA with no experience as one and I was to work within and Ma scope of practice. I was later accused of stepping out of my scope because I chose to listen to the breath sounds of a patient. This has resulted in a suspension from work. In a case like this what happens if a non-licensed ma is not given an appropriate scope to follow?

    • I am sorry to hear about this. Could you please tell me in what state you are located? The medical assisting laws vary somewhat from state to state.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

  5. Christina says:

    I work as a CMA (AAMA) in Minnesota, does this mean I can fill Rx by means of standing orders as long as it meets the guidelines shown above?

    • Thank you for your question. Standing orders for medication/prescription orders, in my opinion, can be entered and pended by a CMA (AAMA) under Minnesota law. However, it is my legal opinion that that order cannot become actionable and be transmitted until the delegating/overseeing provider has reviewed and approved.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

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