STAND. COM. REP. NO. 549

                                   Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 40
                                        




Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii

Sir:

     Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which
was referred S.B. No. 40 entitled: 

     "A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS,"

begs leave to report as follows:
     
     The purpose of this measure is to establish licensure of
physician assistants in place of certification.

     The Board of Medical Examiners and the State Auditor
presented testimony in support of this measure.  The Hawaii
Academy of Physician Assistants and four individuals, while not
present, submitted testimony in support of the measure.  HGEA-
AFSCME, Local 152, AFL-CIO submitted written testimony in
opposition.  The Hawaii Nurses Association submitted written
comments, but did not take a position regarding the licensing of
physician assistants.

     Your Committee finds that House Concurrent Resolution
No. 14, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, of the 1998 Regular Session, requested
the State Auditor to conduct an analysis of the probable effects
of the proposed regulatory changes for physician assistants
contained in S.B. No. 3234, introduced during the 1998
legislative session.

     In the Auditor's analysis, the Auditor found that physician
assistants are in effect already licensed by the State, and as a
result, a change in statutory terminology will have minimal
fiscal and operational impact.  In addition, the use of the term

 
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licensure is consistent with national trends, with thirty-four
states using this form of regulation.

     The Auditor also found that changing the regulatory
nomenclature for physician assistants from certified to licensed
will have little to no effect on the public's health, safety, or
welfare, and that safeguards currently in effect are sufficient
to assure continued consumer safety.  Neither will a change in
nomenclature affect insurance coverage, an important
consideration of providers and patients alike.

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to
this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and
purpose of S.B. No. 40 and recommends that it pass Second Reading
and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Commerce and
                                   Consumer Protection,



                                   ______________________________
                                   BRIAN KANNO, Co-Chair



                                   ______________________________
                                   BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Co-Chair

 
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