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PHIMA Call to Action!!

We need your help! PHIMA is actively watching H.B. 811, Licensing for Individuals with a Criminal Conviction and Occupational Licensing for Low-Income Individuals. The bill proposes to restrict the use of those using a certified title to persons holding governmentally issued titles. What does this mean? The bill could be interpreted as restricting or invalidating licensure regulations on current private certification such as AHIMA’s CCS/CCS-P. 
PHIMA has three main concerns:
  1. Interference with Private Certification Organization Eligibility and Disciplinary Decisions – We are asking the government to refrain from interfering with the right of private certification. Since certifications are required to perform occupations, we are requesting “a governmental issuing body to whom an individual has applied for a license or certification to conduct or perform a lawful occupation or profession for which the license or certification is required in this Commonwealth.”
  2. Interfering with the Right of Individuals to Cite Their Earned Credentials – The current bill states that an individual who did not receive certification may also perform the  occupation for compensation but may not use the title certified, which could be considered unconstitutional. We are asking for an amendment stating “Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, nothing shall preclude an individual holding a current certification issued by a private certification organization from using the title or designation ‘certified’ as permitted by the private organization in connection with a credential that the organization has issued to the individual.”
  3. Undercutting licensure laws that build on private certifications – The current language in H.B. 811 bars disqualification from licensure based on certain nonviolent convictions “notwithstanding any other statue or rule”. We are asking H.B. 811 be revised to add “nothing in this chapter is intended to restrict an agency from requiring, as a condition of licensure, that an individual’s personal qualifications include obtaining or maintaining private certification from a private organization that credentials individuals in the relevant occupation.”
PHIMA is in the process of sending a letter to Representatives Jim Cox and Representative David Hickernell to express our concern with this bill passing in its current form. What can you do? If you live in Representative Cox or Hickernell’s district, the attached letter guides you on requesting a meeting with him or his staff to express concerns with the bill passing as it is currently written.
You may read the bill here.

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