NEW JERSEY REGISTER
Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:44C-7.2A and 8.1
Authorized By: Jeffrey Burstein, Acting Director, Division of Consumer Affairs.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:3B-24.
Submit written comments by June 17, 2005 to:
Renee Clark, Executive Director
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee
Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street
PO Box 45002
Newark, New Jersey 07101
The agency proposal follows:
Pursuant to the rulemaking authority in N.J.S.A. 45:3B-24, the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs (the "Director") proposes amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-7.2A and 8.1.
The Director proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44C-7.2A(c)3 to clarify that a licensed speech-language pathologist who wishes to perform Fiber Optic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing (FEES) independently must successfully complete 25 FEES procedures under the supervision of a speech pathologist or a physician. The Director proposes this amendment to clarify that procedures that have not been performed correctly do not count towards the 25 procedures that speech-language pathologists are required to perform. The Director recently adopted amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.1 at 37 N.J.R. 82(a). As part of that adoption, the Director stated that N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.1(c) would be amended at a later date to allow a licensee to charge up to $10.00 when a patient requests copies of a record that is less than 10 pages. The Director proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.1(c)2 to allow such a charge. This amendment will ensure that licensees will be able to recoup the cost of postage and retrieval. The Director also proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.1(c) 4 to delete the phrase "if the record is needed by another health care professional for the purpose of rendering care." By deleting this phrase, the Director is clarifying that a licensee may not refuse to provide a patient his or her record on the grounds that a patient owes the licensee an unpaid balance.
The Director has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.
The Director believes that the proposed amendments will have a positive impact upon patients and licensees. Amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-7.2A ensure that licensees are correctly performing the required FEES procedures under the supervision of a speech language pathologist or a physician. Amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44C-8.1 prohibits licensees from withholding patient records when a patient owes the licensee an unpaid balance, ensuring that patients have unfettered access to their records.
The Director believes that the proposed amendments may have an economic impact on patients who request records that are less than 10 pages. Licensees would be permitted to charge up to $10.00 for such records. The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will impose any other economic impact.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.
The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will result in an increase or decrease of jobs in this State.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The Director does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
If, for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., the approximately 4,400 licensed speech-language pathologists are deemed "small businesses," then the following analysis applies.
The Act requires the Director to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposal including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Director to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the proposal with an indication of the varying impact on small businesses of differing types and sizes and to outline the manner in which it has designed the rules to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses.
There are no costs imposed on small businesses by the proposed amendments. The Director does not believe that licensees will need to employ any professional services to comply with the requirements of the amendments. The amendments do not impose any compliance, recordkeeping or reporting requirements.
Smart Growth Impact
The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.
Full text of the proposal follows :
<< NJ ADC 13:44C-7.2A >>
13:44C-7.2A Scope of Practice: Fiber Optic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing (FEES)
(a)-(b) (No change.)
(c) FEES shall only be performed by a licensed speech-language pathologist who is certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and who has:
1.-2. (No change.)
3. <<-Performed->> <<+Successfully performed+>> 25 FEES procedures under the supervision of a speech pathologist who has met the requirements of this section or a physician, at a licensed healthcare facility that requires that a healthcare professional have privileges to perform the FEES procedure.
(d)-(f) (No change.)
<< NJ ADC 13:44C-8.1 >>
(a)-(b) (No change.)
(c) Licensees shall provide access to patient treatment records to a patient or person whom the patient has designated to receive records in accordance with the following:
1. (No change.)
2. The licensee may require that a record request be in writing and may charge a fee for the reproduction of records, which shall be no greater than $1.00 per page or $100.00 for the entire record, whichever is less<<+. If the record requested is less than 10 pages, the licensee may charge up to $10.00 to cover postage and the costs associated with retrieval of the record+>>;
3. (No change.)
4. The licensee shall not refuse to provide a patient record on the grounds that the patient owes the licensee an unpaid balance <<-if the record is needed by another health care professional for the purpose of rendering care->>.
: (d) (No change.)
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