IAHCSMM VIEWPOINT State legislation on occupational licensure and certifi cation

by Josephine Colacci, Esq. T

his year, states introduced legislation that would restrict occupational licensing and certifi cation. There seems to be a concerted effort by organizations against occupational

licensing, which is negatively impacting professional certifi cation. Now, the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management’s (IAHCSMM’s) advocacy efforts are fo- cused on occupational certifi cations, not occupational licensing. Two states had legislation to restrict occupational certifi cations. Louisiana introduced legislation that would have prohibited the

use of any private organizations’ certifi cations. This means that if an individual held any of IAHCSMM’s certifi cations, they would have been prohibited to use them. Interestingly, this bill was not introduced with this prohibitive language; it was inserted into the bill on the House fl oor. IAHCSMM joined a coalition of 45 organizations that hired a lobbyist to oppose the language in the bill. IAHCSMM drafted a letter of opposition to the Senate Com- mittee and had members respond to an action alert in the state. Due to our collaborative approach, we were successful in removing prohibitive language. I would like to extend my sincere apprecia- tion to everyone in Louisiana who sent letters to their Senators.

and the bills were signed into law. We are working with other organizations to have legislation introduced next session to amend these laws.

Missouri capitol building, Jefferson city Ohio has two bills of concern, although the bills are not specifi c

to certifi cations. One bill would abolish all occupational licensing agencies within fi ve years, unless an agency establishes that their “authority is narrowly tailored to protect against present, recog- nizable and signifi cant harms to the health, safety and welfare of the public.” Another bill does not mention certifi cation but would mandate that every state agency “reduce the total number of regulatory restrictions by thirty percent.” Both bills successfully passed the Senate and are expected to be taken up by the House before the end of the year.

Louisiana capitol building, Baton Rouge Missouri had two bills that would require the state government

to grant certifi cations to qualifi ed individuals. This means that upon government approval, an individual could use the term “certifi ed” in his/her title. The same coalition used in Louisiana did not have enough time to respond to the Missouri bills because we were not alerted to these bills until after both bills had success- fully passed the legislature. IAHCSMM had members respond to an action alert that asked the Governor to veto the bills. Many thanks to everyone in Missouri who sent letters to the Governor’s offi ce. Unfortunately, we were not successful in obtaining a veto

44 October 2018 • HEALTHCARE PURCHASING NEWS • Ohio capitol building, Columbus

IAHCSMM will continue to monitor this type of legislation. Central Service/Sterile Processing professionals should know that the Association is doing everything possible to protect the use of their certifi cations. HPN

Josephine Colacci, Esq., serves as Government Affairs Director for the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management.

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