Are you a physician assistant? Are you interested in working in the State of Alaska? In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about collaborative plans for physician assistants in Alaska.
While collaborative plans (or similar agreements) may be called something different from state to state, such as a supervision agreement (MT), delegation agreement (WA), or collaborative practice agreement (ID), we’ll focus specifically on Alaska’s collaborative plans.
Physician assistants who work with Wilderness Medical Staffing will have our team to guide you through this process. If you’re a PA who is working independently or perhaps with a different agency, we’ve also provided helpful information for you to get your plan submitted so you can start your position!
What is a Collaborative Plan?
According to the Alaska State Medical Board, a collaborative plan “is an agreement between a physician and a physician assistant (PA). The plan details the nature of the relationship by asking the physician to define the PA’s scope of practice, practice location, method of referrals, etc. There are minimum standards set by law; however, the plans can be customized to meet the needs of the practice, the physician, and the PA. For example, the law details the prescriptive authority for PAs but the physician may wish to restrict the PA from writing prescriptions in that practice.”
The physician must agree to certain responsibilities, including being available for referrals and consultations and being an educational resource for the PA.
There must also be communication between the supervising physician and the physician assistant for quality assurance. In addition, the Alaska State Medical Board requires a “periodic method of assessment.”
You can find additional guidelines for Alaska State collaborative plans here.
How Do I Get a Collaborative Plan?
Please note that this may be different if you are working independently or with another staffing agency. You will want to have an up-to-date version of your CV ready to send in along with the collaborative plan. In addition, you need to have a valid license in Alaska, as you will need to include your license number on the application. Note that you must not be under sanctions from the Alaska State Board of Medicine. In addition, as a PA, your practice may not exceed the scope of the physician’s.
If you’re working with WMS, your operations associate will facilitate getting a copy of the collaborative plan to you via a document tool. Please note that you must have a collaborative file with each facility you work at.
If you’re filling out the collaborative plan independently, you can find the document here, from the Alaska State Medical Board.
How Do I Fill Out a Collaborative Plan?
You’ll need to enter any information about your role as a physician assistant including contact information and licensing information. You’ll also need to fill out any fields relevant to the assignment you are planning to work at, such as start dates and assignment location. (It should only take you a few minutes to complete.)
From there, the collaborative plan will need to be sent to (either electronically or via postal mail) and filled out by the collaborating physician and an alternate physician. Alternate physicians are required for the collaborative plan to be approved. For providers who are working with Wilderness Medical Staffing, we’ll facilitate getting the physician’s office to complete their portion.
If the collaborative plan needs to be mailed to the collaborating physician’s office, we will provide our contracted providers with additional details about how to do that.
If you’re filling out the collaborative plan independently and the physician’s office prefers a mailed copy of the collaborative plan, you’ll need to mail the copy to their office. We recommend sending it overnight for the fastest turnaround of the documents.
How Do I Submit the Collaborative Plan?
Some physicians prefer to mail the hard copies of collaborative plans and others prefer to submit them electronically. The Alaska Board of Medicine will accept them either way.
If you are working through Wilderness Medical Staffing for your assignment and the forms are being completed electronically, once all parties have completed their portion of the application, we will submit it to the Alaska State Medical Board on your behalf. For mailed forms, the physician’s office will mail the application to the Alaska State Medical Board.
If you’re filling out the collaborative plan independently, you will need to confirm that the physician’s office has submitted them electronically or mailed them to the Alaska State Medical Board along with a copy of your CV and the $125 fee.
It’s important to note that collaborative plans must be filed with the Alaska State Medical Board no later than 14 days from the beginning date of employment.
What does it cost to submit a collaborative plan?
Each collaborative plan costs $125 to submit. For WMS contracted providers, our clients cover the cost of your collaborative plan for WMS assignments.
If you are not contracted through WMS, you’ll likely need to pay this fee through the Alaska State Medical Board. The current form includes billing information, so you can easily pay for the application upon submittal, however, it is recommended that you DO NOT email credit card information. If you include your credit card information for payment, we recommend mailing or faxing it instead.
How long does it take for a collaborative plan to be approved?
This number can and does vary, but we typically see collaborative plans approved within 4-6 weeks of submission.
Once the physician assistant’s collaborative plan has been approved by the Alaska State Medical Board, it will be posted to your professional license.
At Wilderness Medical Staffing, our team is well-versed in assisting physician assistants to get collaborative plans completed and submitted. If you’re a PA and you’re interested in working on an assignment in Alaska, we encourage you to reach out to our recruiting team or apply to our open assignments from our Open Jobs page.