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Meeting of the Board of Regents | May 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                 







Frank Muñoz


Concept Discussion on Upcoming Regents’ Rules



May 1, 2008



Goal 3






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.


Proposed Handling


This item will be discussed at the May 2008 meeting of the Professional Practice Committee.


Procedural History


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.  The rule relating to the reporting of disciplinary actions and criminal convictions prior to re-registration has not been previously discussed by the Professional Practice Committee. 


Background Information


Name Badge Rule:


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 current requirement that licensed health professionals wear name badges that identify the profession they are licensed to practice.  From the date of publication of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making concerning the amendment to the date of this memo, we have received approximately 97 comments on the proposed rule.  A chart summarizing the comments is attached.


Approximately 93 of the comments are from mental health professionals providing psychotherapy services, and two comments were from professional associations representing mental health professionals.  Many of the practitioners 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.


Discussions are continuing within the Office of the Professions and with professional associations to determine whether the proposed amendment can be revised to address the concerns that have been raised providing adequate notice and protection to the public. 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.


Notice of Disciplinary Actions and Criminal Convictions:


At present a licensee is required to submit information about disciplinary actions and criminal convictions at the time of his or her triennial registration. In some instances, the Office of Professional Discipline may be notified of a conviction or disciplinary action by a probation department or another state’s licensing authority, respectively. However, this is not always the case. In many instances, a number of years may pass before the Department becomes aware of any such disciplinary actions or convictions, notwithstanding that such actions or convictions may be relevant to the practice of the licensee’s profession and may form the basis for charges of professional misconduct.


Requiring licensees to notify the Department within 60 days of any disciplinary action taken against such licensee by another licensing authority or of any criminal conviction would provide the Department with more timely notice of such actions. The Office of Professional Discipline would be able to commence a prompt investigation and determine whether any disciplinary action is appropriate. By being able to take prompt action, the Department would be able to better protect the public from licensees whose ability to practice in a safe and ethical manner has been brought into question.



Name Badge Regulation

Comments with Objections




No patient benefit



Negative consequence - Disruptive to therapeutic relationship



One-on-one, individual process



Identified by psychologist’s name on bill



License on wall - redundant



Impersonal - trying to avoid in healthcare



Not necessary or appropriate in private practice or setting with one professional


False sense of security for patients - fake badge












We regulate ourselves; if requirement is imposed, State should provide name tags