Don't let Governor Walker silence the voices of Respiratory Therapists!
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We would like to pass along some very concerning information that the WSRC was recently notified of. There has been a proposal written by Governor Walker to repeal the RT licensing advisory council and with 3 other councils, then combine it into 1 new entity. Respiratory Care is listed under “Medical Assistance Council” along with Physician Assistants, Anesthesiology Assistants….etc.
This move would essentially eliminate our “voice” by eliminating both RT seats at the end of their term and replacing those individuals with other professions.
The RT terms expire 7/1/18 & 7/1/19. RTs in the state of WI would have no legislative appeal in place for future decisions made. An example could be the de-licensing of Respiratory Therapists in Wisconsin, which we know would jeopardize patient safety. Earlier this month, Iowa fought a bill that called for the de-licensure of a range of professionals…including respiratory therapists. https://www.aarc.org/de-license-iowa/
The current budget proposal was shared with Cheryl West, Director of Government Affairs for the AARC. Cheryl’s comments are below:.
“A point to raise is that creating a combined Med. Assistants Bd. will water down the RT presence as the other professions get their own seats. How would anything ever get done in terms of interpretation of the law or rules when the others on this new council would most likely be clueless about the specifics of other professions. Or worse still, some of the appointees could join an alliance to rule against another profession and in the RT instance you wouldn’t have enough votes to override some decision that was harmful to the RT profession”.
Members of the WSRC Board of Directors are already reaching out to members of the Respiratory Care licensing board, AARC Governmental Leadership and affiliate states to determine the best course of action to take at this time.
Please share this information with RTs, family and friends of RTs, and those who support the profession. There is strength in numbers! If you have any questions or would like to assist the board as we move forward, please contact any member of the WSRC http://www.wsrc.online
We know that Respiratory Care Practitioners do more than "just give breathing treatments"!!! With rising pulmonary disease rates and the billions of dollars spent treating these diseases, it is going to take the continued work of specialized healthcare professionals, like Respiratory Therapists.
This petition will be sent to Governor Walker, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Ron Johnson, and the members of the Joint Finance Committee.
Below is the link to the proposal in its entirety, but here is the excerpt causing concern:
Governor: Create an Occupational License Review Council in DSPS. Define "occupational license" as: (a) a license, permit, certification, registration, or other approval granted under DSPS statutes related to building safety, plumbing, fire protection, fireworks, and professional occupations, including the occupations regulated by the boards attached to DSPS; and (b) a license, permit, certification, registration, or other approval not included under (a) if granted to a person by the state in order that the person may engage in a profession, occupation, or trade in Wisconsin, or in order that the person may use one or more titles in association with his or her profession, occupation, or trade.
Specify that the Council would consist of the following 13 members: (a) eight members appointed by the Governor, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor; (b) one majority party member and one minority party member from each house of the Legislature, appointed in the same manner as members of standing committees in the Legislature; and (c) the Secretary of DSPS, or his or her designee, to serve as chair of the Council. The DSPS Secretary or designee would serve as a nonvoting member, except that he or she could vote in the case of a tie.
Require the Council to submit a report no later than December 31, 2018, to the Governor, Chief of the Legislative Reference Bureau, and the Chief Clerks of the Assembly and Senate for distribution to the Legislature. Require the Council, in preparing the report, to take into account the estimated impact of its recommendations on state revenues and expenditures.
Require that the Council's report include recommendations for the elimination of occupational licenses based on all of the following: (a) an evaluation of whether the unregulated practice of the profession, occupation, or trade can clearly harm or endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the public, and whether the potential for the harm is recognizable and not remote or speculative; (b) an evaluation of whether the public reasonably benefits from the occupational license requirement; (c) an evaluation of whether the public can be effectively protected by any means other than requiring an occupational license; (d) an analysis of whether licensure requirements for the regulated profession, occupation, or trade exist in other states; (e) an estimate of the number of individuals or entities that are affected by the occupational license requirement; (f) an estimate of the total financial burden imposed on individuals or entities as a result of the occupational licensure requirement, including education or training costs, examination fees, private credential fees, occupational license fees imposed by the state, and other costs individuals or entities incur in order to obtain the required occupational license; and (g) any statement or analysis provided by the agency or board administering the occupational license. In addition, require that the report include the Council's recommendations for the reduction or elimination of continuing education requirements for occupational licenses not recommended for elimination.
Medical Assistants Council. Eliminate the following statutory advisory councils: (a) the Perfusionists Examining Council, which advises MEB on the regulation of perfusionists (medical technicians who operate heart-lung machines that propel oxygenated blood to a patient's tissue while a surgeon operates on the patient's heart); (b) the Council on Physician Assistants, which advises MEB and the UW Board of Regents regarding licensing, practice standards, and education and training for physician assistants; (c) the Council on Anesthesiologist Assistants, which advises MEB regarding the practice of anesthesiologists assistants; and (d) the Respiratory Care Practitioners Examining Council, which advises MEB regarding the practice of respiratory care practitioners.
Create the Medical Assistants Council (MAC) and transfer the functions and duties of these four Councils to MAC. Provide that Council membership would be staggered for three-year terms and composed of members from each of the professions regulated by the MEB, as shown below:
Council Members Initial Term Expiration
2 Anesthesiologist Assistants July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2020
2 Respiratory Care Practitioners July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019
2 Perfusionists July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020
2 Physician Assistants July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020
1 Member of the Public July 1, 2018
*Appointed by the Chair of the MEB; all other members are appointed by the MEB. SAFETY AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES -- REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS Page 401
Provide that the Governor may provisionally appoint new members of MAC, who would remain as members until withdrawn by the Governor or acted upon by the Senate. If confirmed by the Senate, each member would continue for the remainder of the unexpired term, until a successor is chosen and qualifies.
Here is the link for the proposal:
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