Why This Is Important
The need for quality behavior analytic services is substantial for the constituents of our state. The integrity of these services is in jeopardy via SB 185. Financial health care reimbursement is a fundamental issue for access to necessary services. The bill will make reimbursement more difficult thereby increasing the chances of preempting, disrupting and limiting access to quality behavior analytic services This move will have dire implications for the very individuals SB 185 purports to protect by affecting access to health care and educational services"
Senate Bill 185 gives regulatory authority to the Psychology Board over the field and practice of Behavior Analysis via proposed licensure. The argument psychologists will use for such oversight is couched in "consumer protection", however, it seems to be another "turf" battle waged by psychologists in an attempt to stake claim to another profession. The Psychology board has a long history of initiating turf battles in Louisiana with physicians, LPC's and now Behavior Analysts.
It is critical that consumers of behavior analytic services be adequately protected in Louisiana, which is best accomplished when profesionals from the field of behavior analysis have regulatory authority over the practice of behavior analysis. I do not believe consumers are in "danger" as the Psychology board asserts. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are certified by an internationally recognized organization, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) which is accredited by The National Commision for Certifying Agencies AND the BACB is endorsed by Divison 25 of the American Psychological Association.
SB 185 will likely be detrimental to consumers for the following reasons:
*The field of psychology will have legal authority over the field of behavior analysis (the assertion that behavior analysis is a subset of psychology is unfounded and not based on facts)
*Most psychologists do not have coursework, training and experience in behavior analysis, yet SB 185 gives the psychology board final authority on the licensure of behavior analysts; decisions regarding practice (which would impact consumers) would be made by persons that do not have the same coursework, training, and experience as the persons they are regulating.
* Behavior Analysts are vulnerable to an imposed supervision requirement by psychologsts; which would likely result in the restriction of services and increased costs which would be passed on to families, (the financial gain would likely be the psychologists').
*The passage of SB 185 would likely reduce the number of behavior analysts willing to practice in Louisiana. There currently aren't a sufficent number of BCBAs to meet the needs of our consumers. Most behavior analysts oppose being regulated by psychologists (LouABA membership voted to oppose SB 185 when it was presented to the membership as a draft). Future BCBAs may choose states in which they may practice independently (like Texas and many others) or be licensed by persons from their own profession (like Kentucky and others).
I believe SB 185 will ultimately compromise the integrity of the practice of behavior analysis, compromise the ability of BCBAs to work independently and most importantly, impede the consumers ability to secure effective, unencumbered services for their loved ones.
Please vote to oppose SB 185.