On May 24, the Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform held a public hearing on AB 204
and AB 205
, legislation supported by WHA and introduced by the Wisconsin Legislative Council Study Committee on Occupational Licensure
to improve the licensure process for health care professionals.
Assembly Bill 204 would extend renewal timeframes for health care and business professions from two to four years. WHA Senior Vice President of Workforce and Clinical Practice Ann Zenk spoke on behalf of WHA in support of this legislation
"This legislation will ease the renewal burden on providers while also giving DSPS the flexibility to determine when renewals will occur and better load-level the work of the department," said Zenk. "DSPS will be able to look at the number of renewals and the complexity of the profession’s renewal process, and divide the work to break down current bottlenecks," she added.
Joining Zenk to speak in favor of the legislation was SSM Health’s Interim Director of Medical Staff Services and Central Verification Office Manager Maggie Fuchs. Fuchs spoke in favor of both bills and provided examples of how Assembly Bill 205 would give additional health care professions licensed and in good standing from another state the ability to practice immediately in Wisconsin.
"We have seen the benefits that 2021 WI Act 10 created for licensed professionals and their employers. We applaud the Legislature, the governor, and the administration for this incredibly useful resource. AB 205 would add certain health-related professions that were either not included in the original bill or have become licensed occupations since then," said Fuchs. The specific health care professions it would add includes radiographers, genetic counselors, dental hygienists, expanded function dental auxiliaries, and naturopathic doctors.
Fuchs added that thanks to 2021 Act 10, SSM Health has hired numerous professionals from other states who have been allowed to practice immediately. In a few cases, individuals' full licensure was not approved until more than a year after they received approval to start practicing in Wisconsin. She said the state has benefited tremendously by allowing these qualified professionals to practice while the department processes their full licensure application.
In addition to hearing these two bills, the committee also approved on a 4-3 vote AB 202, WHA-backed legislation to improve the legal review process for licensure applications (see prior edition of The Valued Voice
for more information). WHA will continue to push to see these reforms passed into law.
Contact WHA Vice President of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter