Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-7167

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING BEHAVIOR ANALYSTS.

Vote Date:

3/22/2017

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/13/2017

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

Subject to certain exemptions, this bill requires behavior analysts to be licensed by DPH. To obtain a license, an applicant must be (1) certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board or (2) eligible for licensure by endorsement. Current law prohibits representing oneself as a “board certified behavior analyst” unless certified by the board.

The bill eliminates current provisions on required qualifications for individuals providing applied behavior analysis as part of special education services for students with autism spectrum disorder.

Under the bill, such individuals must (1) be licensed or (2) qualify under one of the bill's licensure exemptions.

The bill also specifies that assistant behavior analysts must work under a licensed behavior analyst's supervision (by law, assistant analysts must be board certified).

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Raul Pino M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health:

The Department of Public Health (DPH) submitted testimony stating that while DPH supports the concept of licensing behavior analysts, it is unable to create a new licensure category for behavior analysts within existing resources.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Suzanne Letso, M.A., BCBA, President, Behavior Analyst Leadership Council:

Ms. Letso submitted testimony in support of the bill, stating that it is necessary to protect the consumers of behavior analytic services. In addition, substitute language was recommended to specifically state that: 1) Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Therapy should be excluded from the practice of Behavioral Analysis and 2) the provisions of the bill should exclude individuals enrolled in Behavior Analysis course of study.

Mary Jane Williams Ph.D., Chair of Government Relations Committee, Connecticut Nurses Association:

The Connecticut Nurses Association supports HB 7167, stating that licensure for Behavior Analysts is crucial to allow individuals seeking services to receive them from licensed professionals who have met specific educational and practice requirements.

Lynn Rapsilber, DNP ANP-BC APRN FAANP, Chair, Connecticut Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses:

The Connecticut Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses expressed their support for HB 7167 and the requirement that behavior analysts be licensed through the Department of Public Health.

Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysis (CTABA):

CTABA supports HB 7167 because it will increase consumer protection for individuals with the most difficult behavioral and learning needs. In addition, this bill will not impact of the scope of practice for other professionals such as licensed psychologists since the bill's language protects professionals who have behavior analysis in their scope of practice.

If passed, Connecticut will join 26 other states in requiring licensure for behavior analysts.

Beacon Services of Connecticut:

Beacon supports HB 7167 and the requirement that behavior analysts be licensed. Licensure will increase consumer protection for those receiving behavior analytic services. Currently, protecting consumers served by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) falls under the discretion of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Despite doing their job effectively, the board can only review behavioral professionals who have BACB certification.

By establishing a Behavior Analyst licensure, Connecticut would have the authority to conduct investigations of professional misconduct and have information on those individuals who have committed violations, thereby improving consumer protection.

Melissa Olive, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director, Applied Behavioral Strategies:

Dr. Olive submitted testimony in support of the bill, stating that a license for behavior analysts would protect consumers of behavioral services. If passed, Connecticut will join 26 other states in requiring licensure for behavior analysts.

The following individuals including many Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) support HB 7167 as a means to protect consumers who benefit from Behavior Analysis, ensure a way for consumers to identify providers who are properly credentialed and provide the state the means to investigate claims of professional misconduct and/or misrepresentation:

Aimee Haray, BCBA

Jaime Jensen, BCBA

Brian Heslin, BCBA

Adriana Fox, BCBA

Kristen Stadolnik, BCBA

Mark Palmieri, BCBA

Melissa Saunders, BCBA

Judy Palazzo, BCBA

Elizabeth Cranmer, BCBA

David Kuhn, BCBA

Charles Kochan, BCBA

Maris K. Pelkey, BCBA

Shauna Giannuzzi, BCBA

Deborah Olchek, BCBA

Shelly Jones, BCBA

Dawn Metcalf

Lisa Gregory

Marisa D'Amico

Joanna Berardesca

Christina Calabro

Shari Lungarini

Edward P Amarante

Roger Letso

Matt Cranmer

Julie Swanson

Jennifer Gendreau

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None

Reported by: Andres J. Feijoo

Date: 3/28/2017