Rep. Harris bill to expand medical assistants’ responsibilities signed into law

Washington state medical assistants’ duties and responsibilities have officially expanded after the governor signed into law a bill from Rep. Paul Harris on Thursday.

House Bill 1073 does several things, including extending the expiration of a certified medical assistant interim permit to the issuance of a certified medical assistant certification.

“This bill reduces the discrepancies in supervision and licensing requirements between Washington and Oregon, which improves access to medical care for everyone,” said Harris, R-Vancouver. “There are so many different aspects of medicine today, including numerous professionals and practitioners. It makes sense to give them every opportunity to be able to work at the highest level possible.”

The policy also allows 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.

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

Furthermore, it authorizes a registered medical assistant to prepare patients for, and assist with, examinations, procedures, treatments, and minor office surgeries that use minimal sedation. Additionally, physician assistants can now complete certain tasks without direct visual supervision.

“There’s no question this legislation helps medical assistants, but it also addresses our state’s workforce shortage,” added Harris. “It makes more people available to do important jobs, like drawing blood, administering intravenous injections, and giving medications, which is a more efficient way to operate. This policy will help the people of Washington by making access to healthcare easier.”

The bill contains an emergency clause, which means it takes effect immediately.

The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to conclude on April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications