|Posted:||December 17, 2018 03:15 PM|
|From:||Senator Judy Ward|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT)|
|I plan to introduce legislation that would have Pennsylvania adopt the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) in order to increase public access to psychological services by allowing for tele-psychological practice across state lines as well as temporary in-person services.
Presently, there is an ongoing effort to establish a legal and ethical way for licensed psychologists to practice across state boundaries. Each state has its own licensing laws and rules which vary considerably, making it extremely difficult for a person to obtain a license to practice in several states. As such, the possibility of providing psychological services via telecommunication technologies (telepsychology) across jurisdictional boundaries is unattainable. Also, each state has varying time frames as it relates to permitting a psychologist to temporarily provide services (in-person, face-to-face) in their state.
To help address these issues, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), the alliance of psychology licensing boards in the U.S. and Canada, developed the PSYPACT, which would allow qualified licensed psychologists to practice using telecommunications technology and to practice temporarily (in-person, face-to-face) across state lines. The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Commission would be established to administer and enforce the Compact. The PSYPACT is designed to achieve the following purposes: *Increase public (patient/client) access to professional psychological services; *Enhance the state’s ability to protect client/patient health and safety; * Promote cooperation between Compact states in the area of licensure and regulation; and *Exchange of information between Compact states such as verification of licensure and disciplinary history.
The Compact contains provisions concerning home state licensure, Compact privilege to practice telepsychology, conditions of telepsychology practice in a receiving state, adverse actions, additional authorities invested in a Compact State's psychology regulatory authority, a coordinated licensure information system, establishment of the Commission, rulemaking, oversight, dispute resolution and enforcement, and the date of implementation of the Compact.
In order for PSYPACT to take effect, 7 states must adopt the model language. Once the Compact is operational, licensed psychologists will be able to apply for and use ASPPB certificates to practice telepsychology and conduct temporary in-person, face-to-face practice in Compact states. Seven states (Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois) have already adopted PSYPACT between 2016 and 2018. The Compact will become operational in 2020 when the Illinois law takes effect, unless another state enacts PSYPACT sooner.
This Compact will benefit both psychologists and clients/patients. It will allow licensed psychologists to practice telepsychology and/or temporary in-person, face-to-face practice across state lines without needing to be licensed in other Compact states. In addition, it will provide much-needed mental health care services to populations in geographically isolated areas, especially individuals living in rural parts of the country. This legislation is supported by the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as SB67