Credentialing review program updated

The process used to propose credentials and changes in scope of practice will be expanded under a bill passed by the Legislature April 2.

LB834, introduced by Grand Island Sen. Mike Gloor, changes the Credentialing Review Program.

The bill changes the current process by:
• changing the role of the Technical Review Committee (TRC) to clearly state that it can make investigations it deems necessary;
• requiring the TRC to recommend whether the proposal will benefit the public;
• allowing the TRC to weigh the evidence in total to recommend denial or approval of an application;
• changing TRC membership to allow no more than one member of the applicant group or profession seeking to be regulated or changing its scope of practice;
• updating the funding mechanism to allow all administrative costs associated with credentialing activity to be paid from the Professional and Occupational Credentialing Cash Fund;
• expanding oversight of the program beyond health care professions to include other professions that are or could be regulated by the state Department of Health and Human Services;
• simplifying application requirements and including information regarding the status of third-party reimbursements and other states’ scopes of practice;
• changing the scope of practice criteria to remove the “risk of harm” requirement; and
• extending the time frame from nine months to 12 months for the department to make a final recommendation.

A Health and Human Services Committee amendment made the following changes to the bill:
• clarified that clergy are not considered health professionals under the program;
• added criteria to the scope of practice criteria that “the health, safety and welfare of the public is inadequately addressed” by the present scope of practice; and
• clarified that the report from the TRC will include written findings on all criteria.

Senators passed the bill on a 46-0 vote.

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