Monday, October 29, 2012

MMA Position Statement on Scope of Practice

The Montana Medical Association Bulletin sets forth the following Position Statement adopted by the MMA Board of Trustees on September 7, 2012.  To view a print copy, click here.

Expansion of Scope of Practice by Professional Licensing Boards

The Montana Medical Association recognizes that professional licensing boards authorized by Montana state statutes to license individuals in certain health care professions ("health care licensing boards") have, at times, attempted to and actually have expanded the scope of health care licensees without having the statutory authority to do so. This practice is of concern to medical physicians and other licensed health care professionals.

Licensed health care professionals are required to obtain specialized training and education in their respective areas of practice. The licensure and educational requirements set forth in statute and administrative rules promulgated by health care licensing boards are intended to ensure that the licensees treat patients in a manner that results in a positive relationship between the treatment and the health and safety of those patients. The Montana legislature adopts laws related to health care licensing in order to provide for the health and safety of Montana residents. If a health care licensing board expands the scope of practice beyond that which has been provided by statute, that board is bypassing the Legislature's domain related to such matters and avoiding necessary and usually helpful, discussion related to the promulgation of laws associated with the scope of practice of health care professionals.

For these reasons, the Montana Medical Association believes that health care licensing boards should not adopt rules that would expand the scope of practice of Montana's licensed health care professionals without first having clear statutory authorization to do so.

(20120907, MMABoT, 134TH AM)