Two national administrator organizations are lambasting states’ decision to eliminate independent licensure boards for long-term care administrators and give its responsibilities to its public health departments. 

The American College of Health Care Administrators and National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards on Monday issued an urgent call for states discontinue to the “growing trend.” 

“To have the licensure board for individual practitioners subsumed under the same agency that regulates and surveys care facilities is an inappropriate measure to ensure the competency of current and future practicing senior living and health services administrators,” the groups wrote in a joint statement. 

The organizations explained the usual function and purpose of licensure boards for healthcare professions is to protect the safety and health of their patients. “The importance of a licensure board with independent decision-making authority acting as a state agent cannot be overstated,” they argued. 

The two groups also warned that having the licensure board for individual practitioners under the same agency that regulates and surveys care facilities is an “inappropriate measure” to ensure the competency of industry administrators. 

“To ensure the appropriate licensure standards, standards of ethical behavior and conduct, and — ultimately — the assurance to the public at large that qualified, competent, ethical professionals engage in the practice of senior living and health services administration is paramount for public safety,” they wrote. “This is especially true for the constituencies of senior care settings, where older and vulnerable adults are served in a fashion that safely and appropriately meets their health care needs.” 

Instead, they called for states to evaluate the structure and approaches of licensure boards used in other states where multiple boards are consolidated under independent administrative leadership. 

“This allows for experienced individuals within a particular profession to ensure appropriate initial licensure standards, education and training, examination of competency, and ongoing continuing education and adherence to professional practice standards. Such a structure and practice will ultimately serve the public good by ensuring competent, ethical practitioners authorized to care for our elderly and other vulnerable individuals,” they groups concluded.