Message from the Executive Director: ICE Supports Right to Safe Care Coalition

Over the past year, ICE has reported on the progress of the development of the Right to Safe Care Coalition (RTSCC). This Coalition is made up of organizations concerned about the legislative and regulatory attempts to limit the Maintenance of Certification requirements currently in place. This growing movement seems intent on lowering professional standards for health care providers. Instead, these providers are arguing for the ability to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable on their practice however they desire. Although this issue originated in the physicians arena, the coalition is monitoring any signals that the issue could expand into other professions. 

ICE has representation on this Coalition and is supportive of its work. The Coalition was “formed to educate stakeholders, including the public, about the importance of effective lifelong learning programs administered by voluntary credentialing organizations, health professional licensing boards, and hospitals and other health care delivery institutions. These programs protect the public, promote patient safety and help ensure high quality health care services for everyone.” 

Why is this important? In the words of the Coalition material, 

We have grave concern about this movement to lower standards. 

  • At a time when the pace of medical advancements and treatment options has never been faster…
  • At a time when our health care system has never been under greater strain to care for a growing population of aging, sicker people…
  • At a time when avoidable medical errors and issues of quality remain on the forefront of the national dialogue about health care… 

We should be trumpeting the importance of continuous professional development and regular assessment, not seeking to set aside reliable quality measures. (Source: Coalition Website) 

The ICE Board of Directors recently approved the establishment of a Memo of Understanding with the Coalition to serve in the capacity of convener for the Coalition. The convener role is intended to “provide financial support services for the RTSCC and may also provide some minimal administrative support for Coalition efforts. Perhaps as important, the organization may lend its reputation to support the initiatives of the Coalition, and may facilitate interorganizational contacts, collaboration and communication opportunities.” 

There are currently 14 states that have either passed, defeated or considered legislation that addresses the issue in some manner. The map on page 5, developed by the American Board of Medical Specialties, illustrates the status of the various legislative approaches in different states. The first legislation addressing this issue appeared in spring 2016 in Oklahoma. 

So far, the Coalition has written a FAQ Document that explains in greater detail the structure of the coalition. It has also created a document which addresses the myths being used by those promoting restrictions or prohibitions on maintenance of certification. 

ICE held a town hall meeting in October 2016 open to any ICE member. A recording is posted here. Plans are underway to do a second part in the coming months to address updates coming out of this past legislative season in most states. If you have comments on this issue, please share them with me The Government Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors continue to monitor the topic closely. 

Members who would like to join the Coalition may contact Lisa Kamen at NBCRNA or visit the Coalition website. Information on how to contribute financially will be available soon.

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