Physician Assistant Verification: Hiring With Confidence

  • May 22, 2024
  • Heather Badjar
  • Approx. Read Time: 8 Minutes
  • Updated on May 22, 2024
3 Features to Look For in Healthcare License Verification Software. PreCheck, Powered by Cisive.

As a healthcare employer, Physician Assistant license verification is integral to maintaining compliance, protecting your organization's reputation, and providing safe, effective patient care. However, finding the time and resources required to check the license status of every new hire—not to mention routinely monitoring the licenses of your existing staff—is easier said than done. 

Time isn't the only factor working against employers when it comes to license verification. Differences among jurisdictions also make requesting the information you need more challenging, potentially allowing the wrong people to slip through your hiring and monitoring processes. 



Key Takeaways

With the stakes this high, a trustworthy verification program provides peace of mind through automated healthcare verifications. Let's explore the essential things you need to know about Physician Assistant license verification:

        • Physician Assistants must gain professional licensure by demonstrating the correct qualifications, certifications, and experience before practicing. 
        • License requirements, renewal schedules, and verification processes vary among states.
        • Failing to verify licensure can severely impact organizational welfare and patient safety by allowing unlicensed individuals to practice.
        • Manually verifying and monitoring staff's licensure is time-consuming and complex.
        • Physician Assistant license verification software streamlines license checks using accurate data sources.


Table of Contents

  1. How Does Physician Assistant Licensing Work?
  2. How Does License Verification Work?
  3. What Happens if Someone Is Misleading About Having Proper Licensing?
  4. Use Secure Software for Proper License Verification
  5. What to Look For in Software


How Does Physician Assistant Licensing Work?

Physician Assistants must achieve and maintain licensure to prove they are safe and competent to practice. License requirements for Physician Assistants vary from state to state, but most jurisdictions require practitioners to demonstrate the following qualifications:

    • Graduation from an accredited Physician Assistant program
    • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) certification
    • Passing the NCCPA exam

Some states have more stringent initial and ongoing licensure requirements, while others offer alternative routes to obtaining a Physician Assistant license. For example, Mississippi requires a Physician Assistants licensee to complete a master's degree, while Arkansas may license professionals without a bachelor's degree if they have appropriate military or federal experience.

How often Physician Assistants need to renew their licenses depends on the requirements in their state. As a rule, states require valid NCCPA certification, a minimum amount of continuing medical education, or both to issue a renewed license.


Recommended Reading: Best Healthcare Background Check Services


How Does License Verification Work?

Healthcare license verification procedures allow organizations to check whether individuals have the correct education, experience, and qualifications to practice as Physician Assistants. The process also reveals whether a federal or state agency has ever disciplined the person, enabling employers to make informed hiring decisions. 

Verifying a Physician Assistant's license involves requesting information from state health boards to see whether the person holds current licensure. Most states operate online databases, enabling organizations and individuals to check a Physician Assistant's license status.

For example, the Texas Medical Board's online Look Up a License service provides license information by name or license number. The results include details of any actions the Board has taken against a practitioner. 

While online databases can be a handy way to check a healthcare professional's licensure, search results aren't usually sufficient to guarantee their entitlement to work as a Physician Assistant. Most agencies require written licensure confirmation from a state medical board before allowing a Physician Assistant to practice. 


Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.


The NCCPA also allows anyone to check a Physician Assistant's certification status via its website. However, this service only enables certification verification and does not reveal whether a person holds current licensure. 

A Physician Assistant with licensure from another state must obtain a license to work in a new state. Many states have license portability processes enshrined in law to streamline the process of achieving the correct licensure. 

For instance, Pennsylvania's Act 41 enables Physician Assistants from other states to achieve licensure by reciprocity (where two jurisdictions agree to issue licenses to licensed professionals from the other state) or endorsement (where the professional holds a license from a state with similar licensing requirements). This route to licensure requires applicants to demonstrate appropriate skills and experience, be in good standing in their previous state, and meet other background requirements. 

The Physician Assistant Licensure Compact aims to streamline multi-state licensure by enabling Physician Assistants with licenses issued by compact states to work in other member states without reapplying for licensure. However, not all states have filed the legislation to become compact members, and the compact remains inactive until seven states enact the legislation.


Recommended Reading: Automate Healthcare Employment Verifications


What Happens if Someone Is Misleading About Having Proper Licensing?

Unfortunately, you may encounter situations where a person deliberately misrepresents their Physician Assistant license status while attempting to obtain employment or practicing as a healthcare professional. Knowing what to do if a Physician Assistant misleads you can help your organization avoid legal difficulties and protect the public from unlicensed or uncertified providers. 

A reliable Physician Assistant license screening tool is the most effective way to identify issues before an unlicensed individual starts practicing within your organization. In some circumstances, an accidental oversight may cause a Physician Assistant's licensure to lapse. 

Most states allow Physician Assistants to apply to reinstate their licenses if they fail to renew them in time. However, the individual must not work as a Physician Assistant until they have a current license. 

Sometimes, Physician Assistants without the correct license or with sanctions on their records may deliberately obscure licensing issues by using multiple names. Small differences between information provided by a job candidate and the information on license records can be challenging to identify during manual checks.

A person may be subject to discipline by their licensing agency if they intentionally mislead an employer or another professional body regarding their eligibility to practice. If your screening process uncovers deliberate deception, report the individual to your state's licensing agency.


Use Software to Verify Your Staff's Licensure

Checking whether your employees have current Physician Assistant licenses enables you to verify whether they meet your state's requirements regarding qualifications, ongoing professional education, and NCCPA certification. Verifying a person's license status can be complicated, especially if their record contains anomalies such as changes in name.

Changes to an employee's license status during their employment can also impact your patients' safety, so it's important to monitor whether their credentials are in good standing. A reliable Physician Assistant screening solution streamlines initial and ongoing monitoring, removing the requirement for manual checks and ensuring accuracy.


Are License Screening Solutions Accurate and Secure?

Healthcare employers have a duty to keep their prospective and current employees' data secure. Furthermore, accurate information is essential for making informed hiring decisions, so it's hardly surprising that organizations expect the very highest security and screening measures to enable them to make fair, compliant assessments. 

With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare sector, PreCheck allows employers to screen and monitor employees from a single secure platform to safeguard sensitive information. Robust security and confidentiality measures let you screen Physician Assistants while complying with data protection laws and best practices.

To ensure accuracy, the platform's PractitionerCheck function analyzes numerous county, state, and national sources to screen for licensure issues. Therefore, you'll receive a comprehensive overview of a Physician Assistant's licensure status in a compliant, user-friendly format without time-consuming manual processes.


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What to Look for in a Physician Assistant License Verification Software

Look for the following features to find reliable Physician Assistant verification solutions:


1. Primary Source Verification

Primary source verification (PSV) involves checking a candidate or employee's credentials via official sources, which means state medical boards when verifying a Physician Assistant's license. Without PSV, you can't be sure whether the information is accurate—making hiring with confidence that much harder. 

Conducting PSV becomes significantly more complex when verifying people licensed in other states because each jurisdiction has its own process. PreCheck gathers data from multiple primary sources with 99.9994% accuracy, providing multi-jurisdiction information without the need to familiarize yourself with different request procedures.


2. Ongoing Monitoring 

Simply checking a candidate's license status during the hiring and onboarding process isn't enough to ensure background check compliance. Employers must conduct routine monitoring to detect Physician Assistants with lapsed, revoked, or sanctioned licenses to prevent them from treating patients without the proper credentials. 

Monitoring Physician Assistant licenses manually can be daunting, especially if your organization employs many healthcare professionals. Manually checking each employee regularly is extremely time-consuming and complex, potentially leading to oversights that may put your patients and reputation at risk.

PreCheck's LicenseManager Pro service provides post-hire monitoring of your staff's certification and license statuses, keeping you informed whenever a licensure issue arises with one of your employees. Therefore, you'll have all the data you need to take swift action and safeguard your patients and organization.


3. Exclusion and Sanction Screening

Employing a sanctioned or excluded Physician Assistant places organizations at significant risk of noncompliance, reputational harm, or financial damage and jeopardizes patient safety. Therefore, screening Physician Assistants for exclusions and sanctions is a must for all healthcare employers. 

State bodies administer sanctions if a Physician Assistant breaks certain rules or laws or commits a crime. Examples of sanctionable offenses include patient abuse, fraud, and the illegal distribution of controlled substances, so the ramifications of inadvertently hiring a sanctioned employee can be severe. 

The most serious offenses may lead to exclusion. An excluded Physician Assistant cannot work for an organization receiving funding for delivering federal or state healthcare programs. 

The PreCheck platform enables accurate, comprehensive background checks on Physician Assistants, informing healthcare employers of state or federal sanctions or exclusions. These stringent background checks allow you to prevent sanctioned individuals from entering your organization. 


Recommended Reading: Your Must-Have Guide to Healthcare Background Check Compliance


Explore PreCheck's Health Care License Monitoring Solutions

Verifying and monitoring Physician Assistant licensure is essential for any healthcare employer, but manual checks are often impractical. Without a robust, efficient verification system, employees with licensure issues and even bad actors can slip through the cracks in your hiring processes, placing your organization and patients at an unacceptable risk.

Healthcare license verification solutions such as PreCheck simplify the process through a secure, user-friendly platform, gathering reliable data that would otherwise be challenging to obtain through more traditional routes. Leveraging PreCheck in your hiring, onboarding, and routine monitoring processes frees up valuable time for other essential activities and shields your organization from the impact of high-risk employees. 

Our team of healthcare experts is ready to help solve your Physician Assistant license verification issues. Contact us today to schedule a conversation and start your journey toward more streamlined talent processes.


Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.


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