Research Article
Issue Date: October 1998
Published Online: October 01, 1998
Updated: April 30, 2020
The Ramifications of Regulatory Reform
Author Affiliations
  • Penelope A. Moyers, EdD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Director of the Graduate Programs in Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis, 1400 East Hanna Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46227
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Professional Issues / Special Issue on Professional Competence
Research Article   |   October 01, 1998
The Ramifications of Regulatory Reform
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1998, Vol. 52, 702-708.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1998, Vol. 52, 702-708.
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This article examines the regulatory reform proposals for the health care workforce recently proposed by politicians and members of the Pew Health Professions Commission. These proposals attempt to address issues related to state practice acts, competence, advanced practice, “boundaryless” practice, the disciplinary process, consumerism, and umbrella legislation. Questions are presented for each issue to guide practitioners when deliberating about possible actions professional organizations can take in proposing legislation at the state level Various external forces shape each issue and lead to the need to seek such regulatory reform as improving disciplinary processes and activity, assessing competence beyond the entry level, and increasing involvement of consumers. However, there are risks associated with any proposed regulatory reform, particularly if one realizes the potential financial costs associated with competency assessment and advanced-practice regulation. We must also carefully examine any reform proposals that advocate title protection and the licensing of invasive procedures in place of licensing professionals. The fact remains that the impact on quality of care and long-term cost-effectiveness from the unrestricted use of less qualified professionals and unlicensed aide-level personnel to provide skilled services has not been adequately determined.