Quadrennial Rules Review Discussion

Quadrennial Rules Review Discussion | Association for Mental Health ProfessionalsLet's talk Quadrennial Rules Review. In the State of TX each state agency, including BHEC, is required to review all of its rules and regulations every four years to make sure that they:

  1. Do not run afoul of existing state code (law).
  2. Are still relevant.
  3. Do not conflict with each other.

I have it on good authority that most agencies view this as a necessary evil and get through it as quickly as possible. Is it legal, still relevant, and plays well with other regulations? Check, check, and check, and back to business as usual.

You'll notice that there's no apparent bandwidth in the required process for amending or repealing, "regulations our licensees just don't like". There's also nothing stated in the Quadrennial Process Manual that says, "rules our licensees don't like can't be considered for repeal or amendment", either. The only things that might prevent that from happening are:

1. The agency's Review Board not allowing that to happen.
2. The various licensing boards' members not allowing the consideration of unpopular rules to happen.
3. Apathy on the part of licensees, and Joe Citizenry, to participate in the Quad Review process.

Quadrennial Rules Review Consideration

The good news is that BHEC's Review Board has openly declared that all rules are open to scrutiny, and not just for the three reasons listed above. And, since the licensing boards will be given a copy of the rules that the Agency Review Board has listed for consideration, they will be duty-bound to at least address those concerns. So, even unpopular rules can be submitted for examination. This is a good thing.

Realistically, though, that means that we may be asking the same board members that passed an unpopular rule, to repeal or amend that same rule. We're asking them to put a dagger through something they birthed. So the bad news is that the licensing boards have the last say on the repeal or amendment of any extant rules, legal or simply unpopular.

So Why Bother Participating?

Because if we don't then nothing good will ever happen and it will be our fault.

The hardest part about getting that to happen is getting like-minded, good people over the, "what's the point?", hump. Yes, the political deck is always stacked against the Patriots. That's why we need long-term visionaries to stand with us, with our little rock-hound hammers, pecking consistently at the political concrete until we get what we came for.

At first there will be no visible effect but at some point we'll begin to change a mind or two and see visible traction. Then others will see that it's safe to speak up and participate and the trickle of change will gain momentum and eventually the damn will break. That's not naive. Battles must be fought on multiple fronts and this is just one of them, so you fight the fight that's in front of you with the tools that you have.

We gave you Kathleen's remarks on this topic a few weeks ago. Today we'll share with you what Phillip told the LMFT Board and will be sharing with the LPC Board in a few weeks.

How Can You Help?

We'd like you to feel free to use any portion of these comments and claim them as your own if you're willing to show up virtually to the meeting and read your comments. Use them as they are, amend them to better reflect your thoughts, or write your own from scratch but please, please, bring your little hammer and stand alongside the rest of us. The more hammers we have pecking away at the concrete (the peckaway theory), the louder the din will be. That is the action that will restrict the unfettered freedom the boards feel right now to pass yet more unnecessary regulation at will. But not if you don't help.

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Phillip's Public Comment on the Quadrennial Review

"I'm Phillip Crum, co-founder of AMHP, the Association for Mental Health Professionals.

I'd like to comment on the already in progress Quadrennial Rules Review required by the State. I've reviewed the 12 month timeline put together by BHEC's Robert Romig which he capably presented a month ago during a lunch hour zoom meeting.

I'm seeing a process largely designed to make sure that all rules and regulations comport with State law, or don't conflict with each other and cause the BHEC staff any problems in executing their primary objectives.

We would also like to see a very strong and purposeful secondary effort to ferret out unnecessary regulations and amend regulations that are not performing as intended; rules that do not serve any objective purpose in protecting Joe Citizen; rules that simply add to either the regulatory burden of licensees or act as distractions to the primary objectives of the BHEC administrative staff.

The licensees and public that are watching this 4-year self-review know that the same boards that passed the regulations being reviewed are now being asked to publicly repeal or amend regulations which are either not popular or ineffective, or both, and that it may not be easy for some board members.

Unfortunately, we've seen plenty of evidence in the past 18 months that public and licensee opinion seemingly matters very little to the current boards. This quadrennial exercise is a rare opportunity for each of the 4 boards to regain the trust of their licensees and strengthen the very weak bridges of communication that now exist.

AT AMHP, we'll track the activity of this Quadrennial effort and publicly report on the outcomes through our website and podcasts and hope for the best.

Thank you for listening."

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About the Author

Quadrennial Rules Review Discussion | Association for Mental Health ProfessionalsPhillip's background has blessed him with a variety of interests, skills, and tools to get things done. He spent 25 years in the printing and marketing industry before meeting Kathleen Mills in 2015. They quickly figured out that they made a pretty good business team and, owing to Kathleen's story, embarked upon a mission that would see the creation of PracticeMentors.us and eventually the Association for Mental Health Professionals.

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