BCIA Certification and State Licensure
Providers of biofeedback services are not legally required to obtain BCIA certification. Instead, BCIA certificant holders voluntarily choose to meet our standards of education and training. Your state requires that all professionals who treat medical and/or psychological disorders be licensed. Each licensing board requires that providers only treat disorders that are within the scope of their profession and within the area of their expertise. Unlicensed providers may only treat you for these conditions when they are supervised by a licensed health care professional. Your provider should supply you with information about licensure or supervision on your first appointment.
What is the Nature of Your Concern?
BCIA takes the conduct and performance of its practitioners very seriously, and we realize that clients can become dissatisfied with biofeedback services for many reasons. If you are unsatisfied with the services provided by a BCIA certificant, we would like to help you explore your options.
First, consider the nature of your concern. Does it involve poor business practice or service, inappropriate behavior, unethical professional behavior, or incompetence? Poor business practice or service might include failure to send you a copy of your records or to contact your primary care physician, or rude treatment by office staff. Inappropriate behavior by your biofeedback provider might include impaired performance or an unprofessional attitude. Unethical professional behavior might include sexual advances and sexual contact. Incompetent application of biofeedback might include using the wrong biofeedback protocol to treat your condition. If your biofeedback provider is treating medical and/or psychological disorders without a license and without working under supervision, then he or she is breaking the law.
Where Can You Take Your Concerns?
Start with your biofeedback provider. Many times, issues can be resolved by direct and open communication. Issues of dissatisfaction with services are often the result of misunderstandings and miscommunication. Your first and best step may be to speak directly with your biofeedback provider. If your provider is supervised, then you could also choose to contact the supervisor. If you are uncomfortable with direct communication or it has not resolved your concern, you can consider the following options.
For issues involving poor business practice, you might contact the office manager of your biofeedback provider’s practice. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you can file a complaint with your local Better Business Bureau. You may also wish to contact your insurance company or the state agency that regulates insurance.
For inappropriate, unethical, or incompetent behavior, you may wish to file a complaint with your biofeedback provider’s licensing board. If he or she is unlicensed and working under supervision, you can file your complaint with the supervisor’s licensing board. Alternatively, you can file a complaint with your state’s department of health. You can also contact your state’s department of health if you believe that your biofeedback provider is treating medical and/or psychological disorders illegally, without licensure or supervision.
BCIA’s certificants must carry an appropriate license/credential valid in the state of practice in a BCIA-approved health care field when treating a medical or psychological disorder. If unlicensed, the certificant must work under appropriate supervision. The licensing body of your biofeedback provider has legal jurisdiction over his or her clinical practice. Because BCIA has no legal jurisdiction over our certificants’ professional practice, we will not review written or verbal complaints until the options outlined above have been exhausted and the appropriate state regulating bodies have reviewed and reached a decision on the case. If the appropriate regulating body confirms a complaint dealing with the professional biofeedback practice of one of our certificants, we will seriously consider its findings, and our response may range from provider education/supervision to revocation of certification.