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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Licensing Legislation in Louisiana

The Louisiana chapter of the Autism Society reports:
Board Certified Behavioral Analysts Show Strong Opposition to Senate Bill 185:
Senate Bill 185: Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP) has introduced legislation known as S. B. 185, or the “Board Certified Behavioral Analyst Practice Act.” sponsored by Senator Dan Claitor. This bill would require behavior analysts to be licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP). Clinical psychologists who make up the LSBEP would determine the requirements for the license and oversee the practice of applied behavior analysis (ABA).
Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBA) feel that just as the practice of clinical psychologists is properly regulated by members of that profession. BACB credentials are already recognized in many laws and regulations around the U.S. that enable BCBAs and BCBAs (under the supervision of BCBAs) to practice and be reimbursed by many funding sources without interference from other professions.
BSBAs in Louisiana report that SB 185 will make it difficult for Louisiana to recruit or retain BCBAs. Currently, Louisiana has only 56 credentialed behavior analysts in the state.
One rule adopted recently by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (LBESE) allows public schools to hire BCBAs as employees. The LSBEP was the only opponent to that rule, arguing that ABA is in the scope of practice of licensed psychologists so behavior analysts should be licensed as psychologists or supervised by psychologists or physicians.
Supporters of that rule argue that the practice of ABA is very different from the practice of clinical psychology, and they feel the supervision of behavior analysts by licensed psychologists is unnecessary and costly.
WAFB in Baton Rouge describes how the bill died: