Prescribing Psychologist

Your Information Source on Medications, Mental Health, and Psychology Resources

Prescribing Psychologists in the Federal Healthcare System

The federal system continues to provide opportunities for prescribing psychologists and clinical evidence for their importance in the changing healthcare systems.

Click here for recent APA news on these activities occurring nationwide.

Oregon Governor Will Veto Bill To Give Prescriptive Authority to Psychologists

Governor Brown will veto House Bill 3355.
HOUSE BILL 3355 HB 3355 authorizes the State Board of Psychologist Examiners to issue prescriptive authority to licensed psychologists who meets specified requirements.
“Access to appropriate and timely mental health services is a serious issue in Oregon,” Governor Brown said. “I share the concerns about inadequate services that arose during the debate on this bill, particularly for children, vulnerable populations, and rural communities. Unfortunately, this is not a proven solution. There remains a lack of evidence that psychologist prescribing will improve access or quality of care. While prescription drugs may be appropriate mental health treatment for some patients, there are also significant health risks with some drug therapies. HB 3355 contains several flaws that prevent the policy from being implemented safely. I’m open to considering this policy in the future, but my concerns regarding services to underserved populations, an insufficient regulatory structure to prevent over-prescribing, and unclear lines of legal responsibility must first be addressed in order for me to consider signing similar legislation.”
Reference: Jack Wiggins, PhD post to the APA RxP Listserve, 8/9/2017.

Illinois Rules for Prescribing Psychologists Approved

The Illinois Rules for the Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists’ statute was approved on 9/12/2017.  Psychologists can now begin to submit their applications for licensure as prescribing psychologists. It was reported there are more than 150 psychologists who are engaged in some facet of training to become prescribing psychologists in Illinois.
Also, Illinois has at least 15 graduate students who are ready to begin their training in Clinical Psychopharmacology at New Mexico State University, as a joint degree with their doctoral degrees from Illinois Universities, along with 75 undergraduate students who have chosen the “Pre-Prescribing Psychologist” curriculum at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  
Reference: Beth N. Rom-Rymer, PhD , posted to the APA RxP Listserve

Are Prescribing Psychologists really practicing medicine without a license?

Prescriptive authority for psychologists still hits a nerve for some in the psychiatric community. Wow is the only way to describe this psychiatrist’s article about prescribing psychologists lack of medical training.


Psychiatrists and ‘The Silent Shortage’

This link leads to a ‘white paper’ on the massive shortage of psychiatrists in the United States.  The information comes via a locum tenens staffing company. The article is pretty detailed in getting to the heart of the matter and noted that ‘psychiatry….is not a profit center’ for most hospitals and the treatment is generally more complex. Hospital tend to focus on specialty care that is generally viewed as ‘cleaner’, such as orthopedics, cancer, or cardiology. Any thoughts from our readers regarding this?

Idaho Passes Psychologist Prescribing

Idaho became the 5th state to approve a bill to enable psychologists prescribe a limited range of mental health related medications. Click here for details from the American Psychological Association.

Psychologists will be required to obtain a masters degree in pharmacology, complete a period of supervised training, and pass a national examination. As with several other states, the bill will require supervision of prescribing by a physician.

The intent of the legislation was to address issues problems with accessing treatment. The Idaho Psychological Association website provides a detailed explanation of the need to increase access and rationale regarding prescriptive authority.

House Votes to Reform Mental Health in the U.S.

BREAKING: Energy & Commerce Unanimously Passes H.R. 2646

Murphy’s Landmark Legislation Moves to the House Floor

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2016
Contact: Murphy Press 202.225.2301

(Washington, DC) – By a unanimous vote of 53-0 Congressman Tim Murphy’s (R-PA) landmark crisis mental health legislation the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, the House Energy & Commerce Committee reported the  bill out favorable to the House. Considered the most comprehensive reform of mental health in the past half century, the bill currently boasts 197 bipartisan cosponsors and has garnered endorsements across the country from newspaper editors, physicians and families of individuals with mental illness.

“Today’s vote on passage of H.R. 2646 and reporting the bill out of Committee is a historic moment for families in mental health crisis and for the millions of Americans trapped in our nation’s broken mental health system,” said Murphy. “Delivering evidence-based treatment is how we will finally conquer stigma surrounding mental illness, and this bipartisan bill transforms the federal government’s approach to mental health. This bill calls for a complete overhaul of the current federal system, refocusing resources on helping those with the most serious mental illnesses by getting them treatment before, during and after a psychiatric crisis. I couldn’t be prouder of the work of the bipartisan coalition in Congress, and I eagerly look forward to the bill’s consideration on the House Floor.”

Ohio RxP Bill Introduced!

A psychologist prescribing bill, SB 300 was introduced in the Ohio Senate. Sponsor testimony was given by Sen. Seitz on May 4 with OPA testimony given on May 11. The next step planned is for the representatives of Ohio psychiatrists and psychologists to meet. The bill is in the Senate Health Committee with two co-sponsors (Sen. Manning and Sen.Tavares) are on the committee. The bill reportedly has much support from a number of Senators who are aware of the significant need for improved access to mental health care and prescriptive authority for appropriately trained psychologists.

Citation adapted from Bobbie Celeste, Ph.D. from the Ohio Psychological Association RxP list serve.

Iowa Governor Signs RxP Bill

Iowa becomes the 4th state to allow psychologists prescriptive authority. The next step will require both the Iowa psychology and medical licensing boards to collaborate on the rule-making process.  Click here for details.

Iowa House passes an RxP Bill

Reported on the APA RxP list serve by Elizabeth Lonning, PsyD, Iowa and Illinois Licensed Psychologist.

RxP legislation in Iowa passed out of the House yesterday 72-22.  Because this bill has an amendment that was not part of the Senate bill that passed in early April, it goes back to the Senate. Dr. Lonning reported that Iowa started with the New Mexico bill format with the addition of the following items:

Requires two years of supervision with the second year used to gain experience with special populations.

There was collaborative practice agreement between prescribing psychologist supporters and physicians that MAY include limitations on populations and/or medications.

Statements in the bill that the medical board has jurisdiction over the supervising physician.  The bill will jointly create the administrative rules between the Board of Psychology and the Board of Medicine.

Dr. Lonning also reported that 3 doctoral level psychology programs and the University of Iowa Medical School are working together to create a training program in the state.

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