Colorado Athletic Training Legislative Updates
September 2021 Update
There were 4 changes to our practice act during the 2021 Sunset Review Process:
Allowing for the direction of athletic trainers by physicians and physician assistants. The prior language included “dentists" and “health care professionals.” However, “health care professional” is not defined, which left the amount of expertise needed for direction wide open and could have put a client or patient at risk. Since the BOC already requires the direction of a physician, CATA felt this change in language was appropriate.
Adding a waiting period after license revocation or surrender. Specifically, amend §12-20-404(3), C.R.S, which is incorporated by reference into the Act (§12-205-111(2), C.R.S.). Currently, an athletic trainer whose license is revoked or who surrenders his or her license may immediately apply again for licensure. This amendment brings athletic trainers in alignment with other licensed health care professionals.
Adding additional enforcement action options. Specifically, add authority for the director to issue a Letter of Admonition (LOA), issue a Confidential Letter of Concern (LOC), or place a licensee on probation which is incorporated by reference into the Act (§12-205-111(2), C.R.S.). These amendments provide the Director a broader choice of disciplinary tools to utilize when taking disciplinary action. Also, the licensee can be held accountable, while remaining a part of the active workforce, and consumer protection is still provided. Under current language, if a registrant commits any act that is grounds for discipline, the Director’s only disciplinary options are revocation, suspension, entering into a stipulation, or a denial of a registration renewal. However, for some violations, these types of discipline do not match the level of violation.
Updating language addressing violations related to excessive use or abuse of alcohol, habit-forming drugs, or habitually using a controlled substance. Current language states “Has an alcohol use disorder, as defined in section 27-81-102, or a substance use disorder, as defined in section 27-82-102, or is an excessive or habitual user or abuser or excessively or habitually uses or abuses alcohol or habit-forming drugs or is a habitual user of a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), or other drugs having similar effects…”. The current statutory language is antiquated and does not conform with current terminology used by mental health professionals.
ATTENTION ALL CATA MEMBERS!!!
This directly affects you. If you have not heard, we got a very negative Sunset Review report. They (DORA) are recommending that our licensure bill be sunset. This means de-regulating the profession of Athletic Training in Colorado. De-regulation means that we will no longer be licensed, registered, etc. There will be NO oversight. The report demonstrates a lack of knowledge of our profession as a whole. We need all of you to step up. The only way we can win this fight is to get everyone involved.
What is a Sunset Review?
A sunset review is an evaluation of the need for the continued existence of a program or an agency. The Colorado General Assembly sets specific dates that a particular agency, board, or function of government will terminate unless the legislature passes new legislation to continue. So, the “sun sets” on that part of government law if it is not reauthorized. The review is conducted every 5 to 11 years pursuant to the statute.
Who Conducts a Sunset Review?
Colorado Office of Policy, Research & Regulatory Reform (COPRRR) is an office within DORA and is charged by statute to conduct a sunset review of the entity or function and produce a report of its findings and recommendations prior to the agencies' sunset. Reviews are conducted according to statutory review schedule and according to statutory criteria.
You can find more information on the Sunset Process on DORA’s website here:
What were the findings of our Sunset Review in October 2020?
The COPRRR reviewer recommended sunsetting our act. This means NO registration and NO licensure. We would go back over 10 years to an Exempt status without a Practice Act. This report has de legitimized our profession in Colorado as it does not recognize us as Healthcare professionals.
What does the results of our Sunset Review mean?
This IS NOT the end of our licensure. This is simply a recommendation from DORA that AT’s are de-regulated. De-regulation in our case would cause AT’s to go back to an Exempt Status with No Practice Act.
If we can get legislative support we will keep our licensure that we achieved in 2019. We will need support from legislators after the November 3 election and we will also need help from our CATA members - see future e-blasts and social media posts for ways to get involved!