Audiology, speech-language compact advances

A bill that would pave the way for Nebraska to join an interstate compact for audiologists and speech-language pathologists advanced from general file March 9.

LB14, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood, would adopt the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact. Under the compact, individuals licensed in a member state could practice in any other member state without having to obtain a separate license.

Sen. Carol Blood
Sen. Carol Blood

Ten states are required to join the compact for it to take effect and Blood said six states have joined already. She said the bill would benefit military spouses who relocate frequently without lowering the quality of service that practitioners provide.

“Nebraska will continue to regulate the actual practice of audiology and speech-language pathology and maintain their individual scopes of practice,” she said.

Glenvil Sen. Dave Murman spoke in support, saying the bill would expand the pool of health care workers in the state.

“I think we all recognize that Nebraska has a shortage of health care professionals,” he said. “Compacts in general, and LB14 specifically, are tools for addressing this shortage.”

A Health and Human Services Committee amendment, adopted 41-0, would require that the compact commission approve the educational institutions at which a covered service provider could earn a degree. It also would allow a member state to take disciplinary action against a provider’s license based on the findings of another member state.

Lawmakers advanced LB14 to select file on a 43-0 vote.

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