Legislative Activity 2017-2018
On July 27, 2017, the Board of Allied Health voted on continuing competency regulations, 259 CMR 7.00, and they passed unanimously. (These were originally drafted in August 2016. Massachusetts is one of four states that do not require continuing competency!) 24 units per 2-year cycle will be required. 2 units must be ethics or laws and regulations governing practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
On August 24, 2017, the Board of Allied Health reviewed the regulations that were passed in May 2014. These regulations were stalled and then put on hold by Governor Baker’s Executive Order 562 when he took office. With some edits/revisions, the regulations were again passed unanimously.
Both sets of regulations are proceeding through the regulatory process. They will then be submitted for public comment and then become effective. There are no updates on these regulations as they are not yet effective.
A representative from MAOT attends most of the monthly Board of Allied Health meetings and reports back to MAOT membership.
The new legislative cycle will begin in January 2019. Interest has been indicated with respect to telehealth and mental health parity legislation.
MAOT was part of the tMed Coalition supporting two health care bills (HB4639 and SB2573) for telemedicine. Unfortunately, these bills did not pass and MAOT will be monitoring similar bills with the tMed Coalition in the next Legislative Session.
MAOT was in support of HB4742: Expand medication-assisted treatment for opioid users which passed and was signed into law by the Governor.
MAOT was in support of the comprehensive health care initiative-HB 2219 An Act to enhance access to high quality, affordable, and transparent health care in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, this bill did not pass and MAOT will be monitoring any similar bills in the next Legislative Session
In the next legislative session, MAOT will be pursing mental health and school based practice issues.
We will continue to monitor any opportunities that present themselves for occupational therapy in the health, mental health and education areas.
For more information on legislative matters, go to http://www.malegislature.gov
For more information, contact the MAOT Government Relations Representative, Sarah McKinnon, OT, OTD