As Licensing Loses Favor, is Private Certification or Safe Harbors the Answer?

Published March 18, 2022 2 Views

Kim Green

Almost every professional occupation has been layered with bureaucracy. It’s called licensing. While no proof exists, that licensing adds value of any kind – such as more affordability, availability, or quality, and in fact, may do the opposite – licensing has been difficult to repeal, especially in medicine.

Fortunately, voters are learning of the uselessness of licensing and in some cases, have gotten licensing regimes repealed, for example, for hair braiders. And now, with many doctors losing their licenses for political reasons – such as prescribing early, politically unapproved COVID treatments – we now have an opportunity to free doctors from this dangerous, political mechanism. Sure, they can try going through the courts, but why not replace licensing?

Enter “private certification,” where professionals who meet the criteria of registered certification organizations could bypass the need to be licensed. What about fraud? State attorney’s general would prosecute for fraud in instances where a member of that organization violated the criteria.

Ms. Green believes certification solutions, as they stand today, are not the perfect solutions. What if, for example, we’re just replacing a licensing monopoly with a certification monopoly? After Colorado introduced private certifications and state licensing for massage therapy, both organizations ended up taking more control over the practitioners.

Instead, Kim would love to see SAFE HARBOR approaches used in more states. It is a way that has been tested and legitimized through many years of study and application. The Safe Harbor concept offers a more effective and protective infrastructure – to enable health providers (in this case) to do their jobs without being controlled by politics, counter-productive rules, or mounds of red tape.

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