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Director's Feature: Debunking the Regulatory Process

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 5, 2015

A Guide to Getting a Firm Grip on the Details

 By MAOPS Executive Director Brian Bowles

For the past several years, I have tried to educate MAOPS members about the regulatory process. This is the mysterious process that usually leads to the question all of us ask at some point, "Where did that idea come from?" The regulatory process is such a mystery, because it happens behind closed doors in rooms filled with governor appointees who think they know what is best for us. Whereas, legislation is difficult to pass, having to traverse the two chambers of the state legislature (the House and Senate), the regulatory process is far less transparent. The good news is that there is transparency. The bad news is that it's difficult to follow and most citizens are unaware of the process or that they can have a major impact if the process is used. Even more so, they can have a major impact if they SUPPORT organizations that follow the regulatory process closely, like we do at MAOPS.


The Regulatory Process in Action

  • Regulatory Boards – The governor appoints folks to sit on various regulatory boards, like the Missouri Board of Healing Arts (BoHA), your licensing board.
  • Comment Period – When BoHA wants to change a regulation, such as how a physician and a nurse must collaborate, they are required to propose the rule changes and post them in the Missouri Register for a 30-day comment period. Every Missouri citizen can comment on any proposed rule. However, hardly any do. The reason is that most people don't know about it. Additionally, the volume of rules can be quite intimidating and very difficult to follow. The Federal Register is even more cumbersome.
  • Missouri Register – The publication comes out twice per month. (The Federal Register comes out at least once per day.) MAOPS reads the Missouri Register and submits comments on items impacting the profession. Comments are based on MAOPS policy, which is developed by you, the members! Usually a letter from MAOPS representing all of our members is all that is needed. Occasionally, we ask for individual members to help by submitting their own comments as well.
  • Final Rules – Commonly, MAOPS comments are considered and implemented into the final rules, so this is an effective process for those who choose to participate. This is why MAOPS membership is so important. We do the things for you that you: 1) don’t have time to do; and 2) don’t want to do! Keep this in mind later this fall when you consider whether or not to renew your investment in MAOPS membership for 2016. We hope you will see the value in this, and all the other things we do for the profession.

MAOPS is always looking for people to help monitor the government. For those interested in following the regulatory process, click here to access the Missouri Register. You can register to receive email updates when rules are proposed by agencies. You can even filter the agencies most applicable or of most interest to you. For physicians, the following agencies are good ones to follow:

  • The Missouri Department of Mental Health;
  • The Missouri Department of Social Services;
  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services;
  • The Missouri Department of Insurance; and
  • The Missouri Office of Administration.

If you have any questions about the regulatory process, how to get move involved or anything in between, I'd be happy to visit with you at your convenience. Please call the MAOPS Central Office Team at (573) 634-3415, or email me at you!

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