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AARC Works With Michigan in Licensure Threat

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May 15, 2012

A threat to Michigan respiratory therapy licensure has mobilized the AARC with the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care (MSRC) to stave off the “de-licensing” of respiratory therapists there.

The MSRC alerted the AARC to a report that recommends 18 professions in Michigan no longer be licensed. Respiratory therapy is among those. The Governor’s Office on Regulatory Reinvention in Michigan bases much of the rationale for deregulation of respiratory care on the NBRC’s credentialing system as a sufficient replacement for RT licensure. “Of course, this is not true,” said Director of Government Affairs Cheryl West. “The NBRC credential is a component of licensure, but it is not a substitute.” Michigan currently requires background checks and has constituted a licensure board with investigative and subpoena powers. “These patient safety outlets would be lost,” said West.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is reviewing the recommendations at this time. He has the authority to remove any of the 18 licensed professions on the list. If the profession remains on the list, the recommendations go to the legislature for consideration and final determination.

“The MSRC leadership is highly organized with a clear strategy to combat this threat,” said West. Currently the MSRC’s effort is focused on the Governor’s Office, with the goal of removing respiratory therapists from the list of targeted professions. Failing that, the MSRC has a strategy to fight the issue in the legislature. Of course the MSRC wrote a detailed letter to the Governor to oppose the inclusion of RTs in the recommendations.

The MSRC is calling on all Michigan RTs to contact Governor Snyder. The Society has set up a dedicated webpage explaining the current situation and the arguments to be used to oppose this misguided recommendation. We request that only Michigan members write to Governor Snyder at this time, in order that his office see this as a true state-led effort.

In the above MSRC webpge is a link that takes one to a site where you can send your comments to the appropriate Agency, in this case the Office of Regulatory Reinvention. On the pull down menu be sure to select this specific office (second from the very bottom).

AARC staff have been in continuous contact with the leadership of the MSRC, providing requested documentation to use as counterpoints to the so-called “rationale” used for the RT de-licensing recommendation. At the request of the MSRC the AARC wrote its own letter to the Governor opposing the de-licensing effort. 

The AARC and the MSRC  have also been in contact with the NBRC alerting them to the situation and how, in the minds of the Michigan regulators, the NBRC would assume the role of a licensing agent. The NBRC has written a letter stating that it opposes this effort of de-licensing.