Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 6678

Public Act No. 03-118

AN ACT CONCERNING CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR PROFESSIONS REGULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) As used in this section: (1) "Licensee" means a funeral director or embalmer licensed pursuant to chapter 385 of the general statutes; and (2) "department" means the Department of Public Health; and (3) "registration period" means the twelve-month period that commences on the date of renewal of the licensee's license, as provided in section 19a-88 of the general statutes, and is current and valid.

(b) Each licensee shall complete a minimum of six hours of continuing education during each registration period. The continuing education shall be in areas related to the licensee's practice, including, but not limited to, bereavement care, business management and administration, religious customs and traditions related to funerals, cremation services, cemetery services, natural sciences, preneed services, restorative arts and embalming, federal and state laws governing funeral services, counseling, funeral service merchandising, sanitation and infection control, organ donation or hospice care. The continuing education shall consist of courses offered or approved by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, educational offerings sponsored by a hospital or other licensed health care institution or courses offered by a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

(c) Each licensee shall obtain a certificate of completion from the provider of the continuing education for all continuing education hours that are successfully completed and shall retain such certificate for a minimum of three years following the license renewal date for which the activity satisfies the continuing education requirement. Upon request by the department, the licensee shall submit the certificate to the department.

(d) A licensee who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-227 of the general statutes.

(e) The continuing education requirements shall be waived for licensees applying for license renewal for the first time. The department may, for a licensee who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements for a specific period of time or may grant the licensee an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) On and after October 1, 2004, each alcohol and drug counselor licensed or certified pursuant to chapter 376b of the general statutes shall complete a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education each registration period. For purposes of this section, registration period means the twelve-month period for which a license or certificate has been renewed in accordance with section 19a-88 of the general statutes and is current and valid. The continuing education shall be in areas related to the individual's practice. Qualifying continuing education activities are educational offerings sponsored by a hospital or other licensed health care institutions, courses offered by a regionally accredited institution of higher education or courses offered by individuals or organizations on the list maintained by the Connecticut Certification Board, Inc. as approved providers of such continuing education activities.

(b) Each licensee or certificate holder shall obtain a certificate of completion from the provider of continuing education activities for all continuing education hours successfully completed. Each licensee or certificate holder shall maintain such written documentation for a minimum of three years following the license or certificate renewal date for which the activity satisfies continuing education requirements. Certificates of completion shall be submitted by the licensee or certificate holder to the Department of Public Health upon the department's request. A licensee or certificate holder who fails to comply with the continuing education requirements shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to subsection (r) of section 20-74s or section 19a-17 of the general statutes.

(c) The continuing education requirements shall be waived for licensees and certificate holders applying for licensure or certification renewal for the first time. The department may, for a licensee or certificate holder who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements for a specific period of time or may grant the licensee or certificate holder an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) Each person licensed in accordance with the provisions of sections 20-206a to 20-206e, inclusive, of the general statutes shall complete a minimum of twenty-four hours of continuing education every four years. Such four-year period shall commence on the first date of renewal of the licensee's license after October 1, 2003. The continuing education shall be in areas related to the licensee's practice, including, but not limited to, courses offered by providers that are approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

(b) No more than six continuing education units shall be completed via the Internet or distance learning and no more than twelve continuing education units shall be obtained from providers that are not approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. For purposes of this section, "continuing education unit" means fifty to sixty minutes of participation in accredited continuing professional education.

(c) The Department of Public Health may require an applicant for license renewal to submit evidence of continuing education on forms that may be prescribed by the department. Each licensee shall maintain records, or certificates or other evidence of compliance with continuing education requirements for a period of six years. Failure on the part of the licensee to demonstrate that such continuing education requirements have been met shall be grounds for disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-206c of the general statutes.

(d) This section shall not apply to licensees who have been continuously licensed since October 1, 1993. The continuing education requirements shall be waived for licensees applying for licensure renewal for the first time. The department may, for a licensee who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements for a specific period of time or may grant the licensee an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements.

Sec. 4. Section 19a-515 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Each nursing home administrator's license issued pursuant to the provisions of sections 19a-511 to 19a-520, inclusive, shall be renewed annually, in accordance with section 19a-88, except for cause, by the Department of Public Health, upon forms to be furnished by said department [upon proof of completion of such continuing education courses as may be required by regulations adopted by the department, in accordance with chapter 54,] and upon the payment to said department, by each applicant for license renewal, of the sum of fifty dollars. Each such fee shall be remitted to the Department of Public Health on or before the date prescribed under section 19a-88. Such renewals shall be granted [subject to the regulations of said department, unless it] unless said department finds the applicant has acted or failed to act in such a manner or under such circumstances as would constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of such license.

(b) On and after October 1, 2004, each licensee shall complete a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education during each registration period. The continuing education shall be in areas related to the licensee's practice. Qualifying continuing education activities are courses offered or approved by the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Facilities, the Connecticut Association of Not-For-Profit Providers, the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators, any accredited college or university, or programs presented or approved by the National Continuing Education Review Service of the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators, or by federal or state departments or agencies. For purposes of this section, "registration period" means the twelve-month period for which a license has been renewed in accordance with section 19a-88 and is current and valid.

(c) Each licensee shall obtain a certificate of completion from the provider of the continuing education for all continuing education hours that are successfully completed and shall retain such certificate for a minimum of three years following the license renewal date for which the activity satisfies the continuing education requirements. Upon request by the department, the licensee shall submit the certificate to the department. A licensee who fails to comply with the continuing education requirements shall be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 19a-517.

(d) The continuing education requirements shall be waived for licensees applying for licensure renewal for the first time. The department may, for a licensee who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements for a specific period of time or may grant the licensee an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements.

Sec. 5. Section 20-195d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

The department is authorized to conduct investigations and take disciplinary actions as set forth in section 19a-17 for any of the following reasons: (1) Fraud or material deception in procuring or attempting to procure licensure; (2) illegal conduct, incompetence or negligence in carrying out professional functions; (3) any occupationally disabling emotional disorder or mental illness; (4) physical illness including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; (5) abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; (6) fraud or material deception in the course of professional activities; (7) wilful and significant falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record; and (8) violation of any provision of this chapter, any regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, or any provisions of subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 19a-14. The commissioner may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. The commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17.

Approved June 18, 2003