Internal Revenue Code Classification for the AAMA and AAMA Affiliates

I received the following question from an AAMA state society leader:

Is our state society eligible for the reduced [transaction] rate from PayPal? The reduction in the rate is considerable and would help our society.

To answer this question, note the following information from PayPal:

PayPal offers discounted transaction rates for confirmed 501(c)(3) charities for most products with no monthly fees. [Emphasis added.]

The American Association of Medical Assistants® (AAMA) and its affiliated state societies and local chapters are classified under 501(c)(6)—not 501(c)(3)—of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 501(c)(6) includes professional societies, business leagues, and trade associations. Section 501(c)(3) includes religious, philanthropic, and scientific entities.

Because AAMA state societies are not 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, they are not eligible for the PayPal discounted transaction rates. The AAMA and its state and local affiliates are also not eligible for state and local sales tax exemptions.

Scope of Practice

Why Professional Regulation Laws Vary from State to State

Why do medical assisting laws vary—sometimes greatly—from state to state? Some may even argue that it would make more sense—and be better public policy—for the U.S. Congress to enact laws for each regulated profession that are nationally applicable and consistently interpreted in all U.S. jurisdictions.

However, even though national regulation of the professions has great intuitive appeal, the plain language of the U.S. Constitution would make broad federal regulation of the professions unconstitutional.

In the 2023 January/February Public Affairs article, “Why Professional Regulation Laws Vary from State to State,” I further expand on the reasons professional regulation laws vary across the nation. Read the article to learn more about how the Tenth Amendment limits laws governing professions, why the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs were constitutional, how state licensing laws can become more uniform, and more.

The full article is available via the “Public Affairs Articles” webpage.  

On the Job

Medical Assistant Eligibility for Transitioning to Other Positions 

I recently received the following question: 

I would like to know why a CCMA [certified clinical medical assistant] in Texas can’t test out of the CCMA program and test to be a certified medication aide without having to become a certified nursing assistant first? 

Answers to this question can be found in my July/August 2012 Public Affairs article, “Legal Difference Between Working in Inpatient and Outpatient Settings.” 

Concisely, in Texas and most other states, medical assistants are governed by the medical practice act and the regulations and policies of the state medical board. Medication aides are governed by different laws, such as the public health act or nurse practice act. Medication aides also function under a board of health or board of nursing.

Also, medical assisting education is different from the education of nursing assistants and medication aides.

For these reasons, credentialed medical assistants are not automatically eligible to become certified nursing assistants or certified medication aides. 

Scope of Practice

Permissible Supervision Duties for North Carolina Medical Assistants

I recently received the following question:

[In North Carolina,] can a CMA (AAMA) be a supervisor over LPNs [licensed practical nurses] and RNs [registered nurses], as well as CMAs (AAMA)?

 To answer this question, note the following information from the “Frequently Asked Questions” webpage on the North Carolina Board of Nursing website:

Can a nurse be supervised by an unlicensed person or another discipline?

A non-nurse (other than a licensed physician) may not supervise nursing practice but could supervise basic employment issues (i.e., administrative supervision, human resource issues [such as] time, attendance, [and] dress code).

On the Job, Scope of Practice

Permissible Tuberculin Skin Test Tasks for Pennsylvania Medical Assistants 

I recently received the following question: 

I am a CMA (AAMA) working in Pennsylvania. What does Pennsylvania law allow medical assistants to do in regard to tuberculin skin tests? 

To answer this question, note the following from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Bureau of Human Services Licensing

Question: Are medical assistants permitted to read an individual’s TB [tuberculosis] skin test? 

Answer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a TB skin test should be read by a “health-care worker trained to read tuberculin skin testing (TST) results.” Therefore, a medical assistant who has been trained to read TST results is considered qualified and is permitted to do so under the regulations. 

The laws of other states vary greatly concerning what medical assistants are permitted to do in regard to tuberculin skin tests. Please email me at with questions about specific states.