Senate sends Harris bill to expand medical assistants’ responsibilities to the governor

A bipartisan bill that would help increase access to certain medical care and procedures is headed to the governor’s desk, after passing the state Senate on Thursday.

House Bill 1073, sponsored by Rep. Paul Harris, would extend the expiration of a certified medical assistant interim permit to the issuance of a certification.

“This legislation addresses our state’s health care workforce shortage by making more people available to do important jobs,” said Harris, R-Vancouver.

“It would allow physician assistants to complete certain tasks like drawing blood, administering intravenous injections, and giving medications without direct visual supervision, which is a more efficient way to operate.”

The bill 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 policy would also help reduce discrepancies in supervision and licensing requirements between Washington and Oregon and help improve access to medical care,” added Harris. “We need to allow all health care professionals and practitioners to operate at the highest level possible.”

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

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

The bill contains an emergency clause, which means it would take effect immediately after the governor signs it.


Washington State House Republican Communications