Harris bill to expand medical assistants’ responsibilities unanimously passes the House

A bipartisan bill from Rep. Paul Harris that would help increase access to certain medical care and procedures is one step closer to becoming law after a unanimous “yes” vote from the Washington State House of Representatives Wednesday.

House Bill 1073 would do several things, including extend the expiration of a medical assistant-certified interim permit to the issuance of a medical assistant-certified certification.

It would also allow an individual who has applied for a medical assistant-phlebotomist credential, and has completed the training program, to work under the level of supervision required for the training program, up to 180 days after filing their application.

“This bill would help reduce discrepancies in supervision and licensing requirements between Washington and Oregon and help improve access to medical care,” said Harris, R-Vancouver. “Medicine today involves so many different professionals and practitioners, and they all need to be able to operate at the highest level.”

HB 1073 would also allow a medical assistant-certified to establish intravenous lines under the supervision of a health care practitioner if certain minimum standards are met.

Furthermore, it would authorize a medical assistant-registered to prepare patients for, and assist with, examinations, procedures, treatments, and minor office surgeries that use minimal sedation.

“This bill addresses our state’s workforce shortage. It would make more people available to do important jobs, like drawing blood, administering intravenous injections, and giving medications,” added Harris. “It would allow physician assistants to complete certain tasks without direct visual supervision, which is a more efficient way to operate.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications