Meeting of the Board of Regents | February 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Concept Discussion on Upcoming Regents’ Rules
January 24, 2008
Issue for Discussion
The purpose of this item is to provide information to and obtain guidance from the Committee with regard to two Regents’ rules currently under consideration.
Reason(s) for Consideration
For Information and Advice.
This item will be discussed at the February 2008 Regents meeting.
The Regents’ rule requiring health care professionals to wear name badges was discussed at the January 2008 meeting of the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee and is presently scheduled for action at the March 2008 Regents meeting. The rule relating to the restoration process is scheduled for discussion at the May 2008 Committee meeting and for action at the June 2008 Regents meeting.
At its January 2008 meeting, the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee considered a discussion item proposing the amendment of section 29.2(a)(9) of the Rules of the Board of Regents to extend to all practice settings the requirement that licensed health professionals wear name badges that identify the profession they are licensed to practice. That amendment is scheduled for action at the March Regents meeting. From the date of publication of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making concerning the amendment to the date of this memo, we have received 69 comments on the proposed rule.
Approximately 60 of the comments are from mental health professionals providing psychotherapy services. Many indicate that they practice as sole practitioners so that their clients know who they are and what their credentials are. They also express the concern that having to wear a name badge will adversely affect their relationships with their patients by creating a more formal and less therapeutic setting for their sessions. While many of these individuals oppose the adoption of the rule, others recognize the benefits of the rule in certain settings, but suggest an exemption for situations in which a sole practitioner is working alone.
Other comments opposing the amendment in its current form suggest that the public is sufficiently protected by the practice of displaying licenses, registration certificates, and educational diplomas in private offices. However, professional regulations require that only the registration certificate be conspicuously displayed. Still other comments suggested that alternative forms of identification be permitted or that the proposed rule could result in a single individual having to wear several different identification badges to comply with state and institutional requirements.
Two comments expressed support of the proposed amendment, one indicating that the rule would have protected her daughter from having received inappropriate physical therapy services from an unlicensed individual.
The purpose of this discussion is to alert the Committee to the comments that have been received to date and to ascertain from the Committee whether it wishes to proceed with the amendment in its present or in a modified form.
The second amendment presented for advice from the Committee relates to a change in the process for the restoration of professional licenses. At present, Regents rules provide an opportunity for an applicant to submit “materials … in response to the Committee on the Professions’ recommendation to the Board of Regents.” This provision has historically been used by applicants to submit comments on the recommendation of the Committee on the Professions (COP) to both the COP and the Board of Regents. Recently, however, applicants have submitted additional evidentiary material addressing shortcomings identified in the COP report, as well as comments on the report. This additional information has not been previously reviewed by the Office of Professional Discipline, the Peer Panel, or the COP. Accordingly, it has not been subject to verification and cross-examination. The problems raised by this process have been noted by the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee in considering a recent restoration.
In order to establish a more orderly process that would provide for all evidentiary material to be submitted at an earlier stage of the process, the Office of the Professions is considering submitting a rule amendment which would limit to non-evidentiary material the type of material that applicants are authorized to submit in response to a COP recommendation.
Timetable for Implementation