Scope of Practice in Correctional Facilities

The versatility of CMAs (AAMA) is being reflected in the questions I am starting to receive about the scope of practice for medical assistants working in correctional facilities.

If the CMAs (AAMA) are working under direct provider supervision in a clinic within a correctional facility, the standard laws for medical assisting scope of practice apply.  However, if a CMA (AAMA) is functioning as a medication aide and distributing medications under registered nurse supervision (similar to what occurs in a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living facility), the medical assistant would have to meet the state requirements and register with the appropriate state agency as a medication aide.

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.
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7 Responses to Scope of Practice in Correctional Facilities

  1. Denise Gross says:

    I have worked in a county jail as a RMA for 22 years–our RMAs pass meds, take orders from the Doctor and Nurse Practitioners.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. George LaBarca says:

    With that being said…what are the requirements if any for medication aide in Florida if any…thank you. George LaBarca CMA, AAMA

    • Thank you for your request. I will attach the information to an e-mail to you.

      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. DeniseM.Moore says:

    Does working in a private practice exempt people from being CPR certified? There is a Dr. in Rockford who has people taking care of patients without CPR certified. Also where does HIPAA fall into place when in this office there are people who are not employed by this same Dr. scanning the patients charts into EMR? IM concerned for the patients rights could you please tell me what should be done. This office the Manager said is not governed by anything like Joint Commision.

    • Thank you for your question. The laws of Illinois (and every other state, to my knowledge) do not require a medical assistant to be CPR-certified in order to work under direct/onsite provider supervision in an outpatient setting.

      Could you please e-mail me at dbalasa@aama-ntl.org with more specifics about your HIPAA question? I will then be happy to respond.

      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. Yvonne Uzzolino says:

    What is the Medical Assistant scope when working with OPWDD?

    • Thank you for your question. The following information will be helpful for our readers:
      The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is responsible for coordinating services for more than 128,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and other neurological impairments. It provides services directly and through a network of approximately 750 nonprofit service providing agencies, with about 80 percent of services provided by the private nonprofits and 20 percent provided by state-run services.

      In the OPWDD context, if a medical assistant is working under direct/onsite provider authority and supervision, the medical assistant is permitted to perform the tasks allowed by New York law. I will e-mail that information to your e-mail.

      In the OPWDD context, a medical assistant would also be permitted to assume some of the responsibilities of a patient care coordinator. Here is an excerpt from my May-June 2016 article in CMA Today:

      Patient care coordinator

      The patient care coordinator (also known as care coordinator) position is perhaps the role that is most directly identified with the PCMH philosophy. Care coordination can be defined as “the deliberate organization of patient care activities between two or more participants involved in a patient’s care to facilitate the appropriate delivery of health care services.”14 Care coordinators fulfill some of the following key elements of that organization15:

      • Assume accountability for care coordi­nation

      • Provide patient support

      • Develop relationships and agreements with key outside providers

      • Establish connectivity that ensures appropriate information transfer
      For many reasons, CMAs (AAMA) are the ideal candidates for patient care coordina­tor positions. What follows are some of those reasons…

      I hope this is helpful. I will e-mail you the New York law.

      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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