HCS SB 921 -- PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION

SPONSOR: Scott (Treadway)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Professional Registration by a vote of 11 to 0.

This substitute contains provisions relating to professions regulated by the Division of Professional Registration.

ENDOWED CARE CEMETERIES

The substitute contains provisions regarding certificates of authority for the operation of endowed care cemeteries, including compliance with state, county, and municipal ordinances or regulations; allowing uncertified cemeteries to fulfill prior obligations before certification; establishing provisions relating to application, renewal, suspension, and revocation of certificates; transfer of ownership of endowed care cemeteries; and allowing the Division of Professional Registration to promulgate rules relating to fees and inspections.

DIETITIANS

The substitute expands the authority of the Committee of Dietitians regarding the issuance and renewal of licenses. The committee may refuse to issue or renew for the following causes: pleading guilty in a criminal prosecution, incompetence, misconduct, gross negligence, fraud, violation of rules and regulations promulgated by the committee, use of misleading advertisements, obtaining fees through fraud or deception, use or unlawful possession of controlled substances, and alcohol abuse to the extent it impairs the person's ability to perform the work of his or her profession. Members of the committee cannot be held personally liable for acts committed during the performance of their official duties.

The substitute allows the Administrative Hearing Commission to place licensed dietitians on probation for a period of up to 5 years or to suspend licenses for up to 3 years. A licensee who has had a license revoked may apply for relicensure one year after the date of revocation. Relicensure will be at the discretion of the committee.

After July 1, 2000, any person who uses the title of licensed dietitian without being duly licensed will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

BRANDING AND BODY PIERCING

The substitute gives the Director of Professional Registration the authority to promulgate rules and regulations regarding hygienic practices and sanitary operations for branding and body piercing.

The division is given authority to restrain persons from practicing this profession if they are not licensed or if they pose a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public.

The substitute prohibits any person from tattooing, branding, or piercing the genitals or female breast of another person under the age of 18.

COSMETOLOGISTS

The substitute allows the Board of Cosmetology to employ inspectors who do not hold licenses in cosmetology.

FUNERAL DIRECTORS

The substitute allows the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers to issue limited licenses. Limited licenses will be available for persons wishing to work in funeral establishments licensed only to perform cremations. Applicants are required to pay application and examination fees and successfully complete the Missouri law portion of the funeral director's practical examination.

Persons with limited licenses are exempted from participating in funeral director apprenticeship programs.

The board is permitted to grant license extensions to persons who have allowed their licenses to lapse.

DENTAL HYGIENIST

The substitute establishes the Advisory Commission for Dental Hygienists with 5 members. It will be the duty of the commission to approve educational requirements for hygienists, annually review the practice act, and make recommendations to the State Dental Board.

CHIROPRACTIC

The substitute gives the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners authority to issue temporary licenses to qualified individuals.

The substitute also allows the board to approve postgraduate study necessary to renew licenses.

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS

The substitute allows the Board of Healing Arts to waive the physician or surgeon licensing examination requirements for student applicants who are working toward an MD/PhD degree in a program accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and a regional university accrediting body.

BOARD OF HEALING ARTS

The substitute allows for the appointment of an additional member to the Board of Healing Arts. The appointee must be a graduate from a school approved by the American Medical Association or the American Osteopathic Association.

IMMUNITY FROM REPORTING

Physicians' health programs are included among the persons and agencies which are immune from liability for providing information to the Board of Healing Arts regarding licensees or applicants for license during the course of an investigation.

PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS

After August 28, 2000, the Board of Healing Arts is prohibited from issuing a license to practice as a physical therapy assistant to any applicant who has failed the licensing exam 3 times. The substitute also removes the grandfather clause for licensing of physical therapy assistants.


PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS

The substitute expands the definition of "supervision of physician assistants" to allow supervising physicians to be available via telecommunications for consultation, assistance, or intervention.

The substitute also requires physician assistants to practice within 30 miles of the supervising physician. The mileage limit on physician assistants practicing in federally designated health professional shortage areas will be 50 miles.

No physician may serve as the supervising physician for more than 3 full- time physician assistants. This provision does not apply to physician assistant agreements with hospitals.

Physician assistants are required to practice at least one month under the direct supervision of a physician before being allowed to practice indirectly of the supervising physician.

The substitute requires physicians to be present at least 20% of the clinic hours in any clinic utilizing physician assistants.

PSYCHOLOGISTS

The substitute corrects a section enacted in 2 separate bills in 1998 affecting the licensing of psychologists.

REAL ESTATE BROKERS

The substitute prohibits any person from receiving a fee for the referral of real estate unless the person is licensed as a broker or salesperson or is regularly engaged in the real estate business in another state or foreign country.

The substitute also requires that reasonable cause be established before any commission is paid by a licensee. Reasonable cause does not exist unless the party seeking compensation actually introduces the business to the licensee before a relationship is established between the licensee and the principal to the transaction. Even though reasonable cause exists, it will not guarantee the interested party a legal right to receive compensation.

Nothing prohibits any person from joining any organization in which one of the benefits of membership may be that the organization can negotiate for a reduced rate or price for real estate costs. Any rebates from a commission must be paid directly from the licensee and must be paid at closing.

ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING COMMISSION

The substitute requires that licensees regulated by the Division of Professional Registration be notified by the Administrative Hearing Commission prior to any interviewing or questioning regarding infractions or violations of licensing laws which could cause the licensee's license to be suspended or revoked, that the state of Missouri will be represented by an attorney, and that the licensee has the right to be represented in the proceedings by an attorney.

TERMITE INSPECTIONS

Any inspections conducted for evidence of termites must be reported on the wood-destroying insect inspection form approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. All inspections must be performed by persons certified by the Department of Agriculture.

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

The substitute makes it a class B felony to excise or infibulate, in whole or in part, the genital organs of a female less than 17 years old or to permit these procedures to be done. Neither the belief that such conduct is required as a matter of custom, ritual, or standard practice, nor the consent of the child or the child's parents is an affirmative defense. The substitute does make such procedures permissible if necessary to preserve the health of the child or for medical purposes associated with labor or birth.

FISCAL NOTE: Cost to General Revenue Fund of less than $100,000 in FY 2001, FY 2002, and FY 2003. Income to Chiropractic Examiners Fund of $7,500 in FY 2001, $7,750 in FY 2002, and $8,000 in FY 2003. Cost to Dental Board Fund of $5,953 in FY 2001, $13,439 in FY 2002, and $13,736 in FY 2003. Income to Endowed Care Cemetery Audit Fund of $375 in FY 2001, $575 in FY 2002, and $56,075 in FY 2003.

PROPONENTS:   Supporters  say  that  this  bill  makes  a  technical change
allowing the board to appoint another physician.

Testifying for the bill was Senator Scott.

OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Bob Dominique, Legislative Analyst