BILL SUMMARY for SB09-026
SENATE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, LABOR AND TECHNOLOGY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved a conceptual amendment: Page 22, strike line|
Moved prepared Amendment L.001 (Attachment C). Th
Moved prepared Amendment L.002. The motion passed
Moved to refer Senate Bill 09-026, as amended, to
Pass Without Objection
09:33 AM -- Senate Bill 09-026
Senator Williams presented Senate Bill 09-026. The bill concerns the Regulation of Athletic Trainers. She distributed a map that provides information on states that regulate athletic trainers, and stated that Colorado and Wyoming are the only states with no such regulations (Attachment A). She discussed the use of athletic trainers by sports medicine clinics and the educational background of athletic trainers. Senator Williams indicated that she does not know of any opposition to the bill.
The following individuals testified:
09:39 AM -- Rosemary McCool, Director of the Colorado Division of Registrations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), stated that DORA has a neutral position on the bill. She indicated that she was available to answer questions. Responding to a question from Senator Mitchell, Ms. McCool discussed a 2005 sunrise report by DORA that had been against the regulation of athletic trainers. Discussion ensued among Senator Harvey, Ms. McCool, and Senator Williams concerning what had prompted DORA's change of opinion.
Senator Tochtrop discussed differences between the bill and previous proposed legislation and asked if the bill had a sunset date. Senator Williams answered that it did. Responding to a question from Senator Harvey, Ms. McCool indicated that DORA has recognized that consumers currently have nowhere to go to file complaints against athletic trainers, and that DORA lacks data on the issue. She indicated that the bill would provide consumers with a means of filing complaints, and stated that the bill has a short sunset date to enable the department to analyze whether the data supports the regulation of athletic trainers.
09:45 AM -- Chris Mathewson, the Head Athletic Trainer at Ponderosa High School and President of the Colorado Athletic Trainers' Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Mathewson discussed the duties of athletic trainers and the problems created by their lack of regulation. He described the benefits of the regulations specified in the bill, and stated that compromises had been made to gain support from opponents.
Responding to a question from Senator Mitchell, Mr. Mathewson discussed the differences between personal trainers and athletic trainers. Responding to further questions, Mr. Mathewson explained that a personal trainer working under the scope of his or her practice would not be breaking any laws under the bill, and agreed that some cross-over exists between the duties of the two professions.
In response to questions from Senator Heath, Mr. Mathewson discussed the Colorado High School Activities Association's five activity levels for high school sports, and identified which levels require the presence of an athletic trainer. Mr. Mathewson explained that smaller schools may not hire an athletic trainer due to budgetary reasons, and stated that there is no stipulation in the bill requiring a school to hire an athletic trainer. Senator Scheffel asked for clarification as to how the bill would affect nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other professionals who may be athletic trainers as well. Mr. Mathewson referred to page 10, line 24 of the bill, and stated that a professional such as a physician acting within the scope of their practice would not be regulated by the bill. Discussion continued.
Discussion continued between Senator Scheffel and Senator Williams. Senator Tochtrop explained that each profession has its own lawful scope of practice.
Senator Mitchell asked about a portion of the bill that forbids a sexual relationship between an athletic trainer and a person receiving services. Senator Mitchell stated that other laws apply to relationships between a high school trainer and a high school student, but questioned why government should prevent a relationship between two consenting adults. Mr. Mathewson stated that athletic trainers are in unique positions, and that it is a matter of professionalism to prevent relationships between a health care provider and a person receiving services. Senator Foster added that an amendment she had prepared may address the issue. Mr. Mathewson briefly returned to Senator Harvey's question about why DORA had changed its opinion on the regulation of athletic trainers and distributed an article titled, "Sobering Season: Sports Fatalities Put Medical Care in Spotlight" to the members of the committee (Attachment B).
10:17 AM -- Christine Odell, Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at Metropolitan State College of Denver and a representative of the Colorado Athletic Trainers' Association, testified in support of the bill. She spoke about the education required to become a certified athletic trainer. Responding to a question from Senator Harvey concerning why regulation was necessary in addition to existing educational requirements, Ms. Odell stated that the bill would protect the public by defining the profession of an athletic trainer and penalizing someone who misrepresents themselves as one. She stated that few people ensure that an athletic trainer has completed the necessary education and has been certified, and that the bill would enable athletic trainers who are not certified to be punished. Senator Harvey stated that it is the employer's fault for not asking for proof of certification, and that it is the employer who should be held accountable.
Senator Williams noted that there are corollaries between the regulation of athletic trainers and the regulation of other professions, such as nursing. Senator Williams stated that the bill would protect the public.
10:26 AM -- Mark Adams, a Certified Athletic Trainer and a representative of the Colorado Athletic Trainers' Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Adams explained that he is a clinical athletic trainer, and defined his duties. Mr. Adams discussed his professional background and stated that he had become a physical therapy assistant in order to achieve more autonomy than was available to clinical athletic trainers. He stated that the bill would allow clinical athletic trainers to practice in a clinical setting without direct supervision by a physical therapist. He responded to questions from Senator Foster concerning what kinds of clients he currently treats and the guidelines applicable to his practice.
10:30 AM -- Jennifer Dougherty, a Certified Athletic Trainer and a representative of the Colorado Athletic Trainers' Association, testified in support of the bill. She stated that she is self-employed but cannot see patients until she receives referral and direction from a physician. She indicated that she is currently practicing in a "grey area," and that the bill would clarify her practice. She described her business, and noted that the bill would update regulations and would allow her to treat clients that she is not currently allowed to treat. Ms. Dougherty stated that the 2005 DORA report had indicated that the exemptions governing athletic trainers needed to be updated. She addressed previous questions about how educational requirements regulate athletic training, and stated that the bill would address issues that cannot currently be addressed now, such as sexual assault situations. She gave an example of an incident of sexual assault, and responded to questions from Senator Harvey and Senator Mitchell regarding the outcome of the sexual assault case and whether anyone employed by a school and who has contact with students is required to have a background check.
Responding to Senator Mitchell's question, Senator Williams said that background checks are required for licensed teachers, but not for other professions. Discussion continued between Senator Mitchell, Ms. Dougherty, and Mr. Mathewson concerning background check requirements, and Senator Mitchell stated that the law should be tightened for background checks for school employees. Ms. Dougherty responded to a request from Senator Mitchell to address the issue of sexual relationships between athletic trainers and clients. Ms. Dougherty stated that health care providers should not have sexual relationships with their patients, and indicated that it was in the code of ethics for athletic trainers.
|TIME: || 10:38:06 AM|
|MOTION:||Moved prepared Amendment L.001 (Attachment C). The motion passed on a 5-2 roll call vote.|
Not Final YES: 5 NO: 2 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
Senator Foster explained prepared Amendment L.001. Senator Tochtrop explained her reasons for opposing the amendment.
Senator Williams explained prepared Amendment L.002 (Attachment D).
Senator Foster moved a conceptual amendment to strike lines 1 through 5 on page 22 of the printed bill. The amendment would strike the Class 2 misdemeanor provision for the unauthorized practice of athletic training. Senator Williams explained her objections to Senator Foster's amendment and stated that the penalty for a Class 2 misdemeanor is a fine, and not jail time. Senator Foster withdrew her amendment.
|TIME: || 10:45:52 AM|
|MOTION:||Moved to refer Senate Bill 09-026, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion passed on a 4-3 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 4 NO: 3 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee adjourned.