At their April meeting, the ABC Board of Directors approved revisions to the ABC Code of Professional Responsibility and Rules & Procedures. These changes became effective June 1. The following are the most notable changes.
All underlined sections below indicate text additions.
The Code has always had a section concerning solicitation and it was most currently updated in 2020. However, we continue to receive ethics complaints on this topic indicating that additional refinement and specificity is needed.
Code section 4.3 has been expanded to read: The ABC Credential Holder and his/her/its representatives shall not solicit a patient while they reside in an inpatient setting unless the ABC Credential Holder has received a valid order or referral from the treating physician or other appropriately licensed healthcare prescriber. This clarification addresses situations in which patients are contacted while they are an inpatient. For example, visiting a patient in the hospital immediately following an amputation to provide information about your prosthetic practice.
There are several codes pertaining to the proper use of a credential and are in place to protect patients.
For additional clarity, a new sentence was added to Code section 7.1–Use of Credential: The ABC Credential Holder shall use the fact that he/she/it is credentialed as evidence of meeting the requisite standard of knowledge and competency only in the discipline in which the ABC Credential Holder is credentialed, as defined by ABC. The ABC Credential Holder shall not communicate, in any manner, that he/she/it is qualified to provide the Services beyond the discipline and scope of practice in which he/she/it is credentialed. The ABC Credential Holder shall not use any credentialing titles or designations awarded by ABC if such credentialing titles or designations are not in good standing for any reason. All personnel who provide patient care services must only use valid certification or licensure designations.
A new sentence was also added to the beginning of Code section 3.12– Advertising and Public Communication: The ABC Credential Holder shall not, nor permit any person to, use confusing or deceptive titles or descriptions.
The word “documentation” was changed later in this section to specify: No patient information shall be removed, copied or transferred by any ABC Credential Holder.
ABC credential holders cannot remove any identifying information about the patients they have served when they leave the employment of an OP&P practice.
Protected health information (PHI) includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security number) which are associated with the provision of care the patient has received.
All ABC certified practitioners, facility owners and practice managers need to be aware of these new Code requirements.