Among a bevy of bills filed Friday, Sen. Jeff Brandes drafted legislation that would allow qualifying psychologists to prescribe medication to patients, including controlled substances.
The bill (SB 160) would require the Board of Psychology to “develop and implement procedures to review education and training requirements for certification” to prescribe medications and to “adopt tulles to deny, modify, suspend, or revoke prescriptive authority certification.”
“The board may require remediation by a prescribing psychologist to correct deficiencies in his or her training or practice upon the board’s determination that such deficiencies could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of the public,” the bill reads.
To become certified, psychologists would have to be currently licensed, have a doctoral degree in psychology, receive a passing score on a nationally recognize psychology exam and meet American Psychological Association education requirements. Psychologists would also have to complete the U.S. Department of Defense Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project.
Each applicant would also have to satisfactorily complete 20 hours of continuing education relevant to prescribing medications.
Once certified, the prescribing psychologist would be required to maintain a record of all patient prescription and consult and collaborate with the patient’s primary care physician. They would not be allowed delegate prescriptive authority to another person working in their practice not certified to prescribe medications.
Certified psychologists could also not prescribe medications to a patient who does not have a primary are physician.
Under the bill, the Board of Psychology would be required to transmit a list of prescribing psychologists to the Board of Pharmacy including the psychologist’s name, certification number and the effective date of their prescribing authority.
The Board of Psychology would also be tasked with establishing an interim panel by Oct. 1, 2021 tasked with providing recommendations for proposed rules governing prescriptive authority.
The panel would consist of a licensed psychiatrist, a pediatrician selected by the Board of Medicine, a pharmacist selected by the Board of Pharmacy and two psychologists who hold postdoctoral master’s degrees in clinical psychopharmacology. The panel would be required to submit its recommendations to the Board of Psychology by Feb. 1, 2022.
The bill does not yet have a House companion. If approved, it would take effect July 1, 2021.