News and Commentary
The American Medical Association explains the ways for advocates of doctors to deter scope of practice laws by building relationships with legislators. For everyone else, advocating for greater scope of practice to increase options and lower costs for patients is probably the best way forward. Indeed, a group of experts in healthcare workforce policy recently called for national uniformity in scope of practice laws to accomplish precisely that.
New Hampshire’s legislature is considering a law that would prohibit music therapists from providing services without a state-granted occupational license. It’s unclear what harms will be prevented that aren’t already fixable with professional referrals and a reputation built by effective service provision.
Florida is considering reinstating a bill that enabled out-of-state dentists to practice in Florida after a sunset provision enabled repeal this year. To better serve Medicaid patients, a class of dental therapists is also being considered to provide procedures with lower costs and training.
Arizona’s legislature is considering a bill to reduce the role of certification boards in several fields of work. Senate Bill 1274 would allow the governor to appoint non-licensed people onto the boards and thus potentially alter the standards and minimum qualifications for certificates.
University of Arizona is beginning a program to create licensed legal advocates who will be trained to provide legal advice in topics such as protective orders, divorce, and consumer protection. Utah and Arizona’s Supreme Courts have both pushed towards relaxing a rule in the American Bar Association that currently restricts non-lawyers from partnerships in the practice of law. If the university pilot project is successful, many clients could access legal help that is too often limited and expensive.
Edward Timmons recently released a report on occupational licensing at the Archbridge Institute. The report notes the historic growth in the portion of the workforce affected and highlights the barriers these policies cause. New American has summarized the findings here.