04 NCAC 10C .0105          QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED

(a)  Rehabilitation professionals in cases subject to the rules in this Subchapter shall follow the Code of Ethics specific to their certification as well as any statutes specific to their occupation.

(b)  Rehabilitation professionals who are Registered Nurses providing medical rehabilitation services in North Carolina must have a North Carolina license to practice and are subject to the requirements of the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act.  Rehabilitation professionals who are Registered Nurses providing medical rehabilitation services outside North Carolina must have a license to practice in the state in which the medical care is provided.

(c)  To provide medical rehabilitation services and vocational rehabilitation services in cases subject to the Rules in this Subchapter, rehabilitation professionals must either be a qualified rehabilitation professional or a conditional rehabilitation professional as set forth in this Rule.

(d)  To qualify as a qualified rehabilitation professional, a rehabilitation professional must:

(1)           possess one of the following certifications:

(A)          Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), as certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification;

(B)          Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse (CRRN), as certified by the Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board;

(C)          Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS), as certified by the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission;

(D)          Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE), as certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification;

(E)           Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist (COHN-S), as certified by the American Board of Occupational Health Nurses;

(F)           Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN), as certified by the American Board of Occupational Health Nurses;

(G)          Orthopaedic Nurse Certified (ONC), as certified by the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board; or

(H)          Certified Case Manager (CCM), as certified by the Commission for Case Manager Certification; or

(2)           have prior employment within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a vocational rehabilitation provider.

(e)  A qualified rehabilitation professional must also: 

(1)           possess two years of full-time work experience, or its equivalent, in workers' compensation case management, where at least 30 percent of the rehabilitation professional's time was spent managing medical or vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabling conditions or diseases within the past 15 years; and

(2)           complete the comprehensive course entitled, "Workers' Compensation Case Management in NC:  A Basic Primer for Medical and Vocational Case Managers," provided by the Commission or the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals of the Carolinas.

(f)  To maintain "qualified" status, a rehabilitation professional shall attend a two-hour refresher course every five years, beginning with the date of the original course completion.  Rehabilitation professionals who completed the course in its pilot phase prior to March 17, 2011 have until July 1, 2016 to meet the refresher program mandate.

(g)  Effective July 1, 2013, any rehabilitation professional on the Commission's Registry of Workers' Compensation Rehabilitation Professionals who does not hold a certificate of completion for the mandated course shall lose "qualified" rehabilitation professional status and may work as a conditional rehabilitation professional under supervision of a qualified rehabilitation professional for no longer than six months before completing the required course.

(h)  After July 1, 2013, any rehabilitation professional who begins providing rehabilitation services in cases subject to the Rules in this Subchapter shall have six months to obtain a certificate of completion of the mandated course. 

(i)  The Commission shall oversee the implementation and ongoing administration of the mandated course and training.

(j)  Conditional rehabilitation professionals permitted to provide services in cases subject to the rules in this Subchapter include: 

(1)           individuals who possess one of the certifications for qualified rehabilitation professionals listed in Subparagraph (d) and (e) of this Rule, but who do not possess the workers' compensation case management experience required by the rules in this Subchapter;

(2)           individuals with a post-baccalaureate degree in a health-related field from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and one year of experience providing rehabilitation services to persons with disabling conditions or diseases;

(3)           individuals with a baccalaureate degree in a health-related field from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and two years of experience providing rehabilitation services to individuals with disabling conditions or diseases; and

(4)           individuals with current North Carolina licensure as a registered nurse and three years of experience in clinical nursing providing care for adults with disabling conditions and diseases.

(k)  To provide services as a rehabilitation professional in cases subject to the rules in this Subchapter, a conditional rehabilitation professional must work under the direct supervision of a qualified rehabilitation professional, who shall ensure that the conditional rehabilitation professional's work meets the requirements of the rules in this Subchapter and any applicable statute, and whose name, address and telephone number shall be on all documents identifying the conditional rehabilitation professional.

(l)  As used in this Rule, direct supervision includes regular case review between the conditional rehabilitation professional and the qualified rehabilitation professional supervisor, review by the qualified rehabilitation professional supervisor of all reports, and periodic meetings that occur at least on a quarterly basis.

(m)  A rehabilitation professional may maintain conditional rehabilitation professional status for a period of two years only. To continue providing services as a rehabilitation professional in cases subject to the rules in this Subchapter beyond the two year period, the conditional rehabilitation professional must obtain the qualifications for a qualified rehabilitation professional listed under Paragraph (d) of this Rule.

(n)  Rehabilitation professionals shall, upon request, provide a resume of their qualifications and credentials during initial meetings with parties and health care providers.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 97-25.4; 97-32.2; 97-25.5; 97-80;

Eff. January 1, 1996;

Amended Eff. November 1, 2014; June 1, 2000.