§ 41.8. Department of Health licensing of substance abuse services provided by psychology practicesstatement of policy.
(a) Background and purpose. The act authorizes the Board to license psychologists and to regulate the practice of psychology in this Commonwealth. The Department of Health (Department), citing Articles IX and X of the Public Welfare Code (62 P. S. § § 9011059), and regulations promulgated thereunder at 28 Pa. Code Chapter 709 (relating to standards for licensure of freestanding treatment facilities), maintains that its licensing and regulatory authority extends to psychology practices that provide services to clients/patients with substance abuse problems. The Board has sought to develop with the Department a joint policy statement accommodating the jurisdictional and public protection interests of each agency. This endeavor has not been successful. Meanwhile, the Board continues to receive inquiries from its licensees in independent practice who have been notified that they must secure an additional license from the Department if they provide substance abuse services. This statement of policy expresses the Boards position on this matter. It does not represent a reconciliation of views with the Department, nor is it intended to address funding or reimbursement issues.
(b) Board Authority. The Board has statutory authority to license, regulate and discipline psychologists in this Commonwealth. Accordingly, the Board regards the following services as exempt from licensure by the Department:
(1) Substance abuse services provided by a licensed psychologist functioning as a sole practicioner or by a group practice comprised only of licensed psychologists. Board regulations restrain psychologists from providing professional services unless qualified by education and training. See § 41.51 and Ethical Principle 2 under § 41.61 (relating to areas of acceptable practice; and Code of Ethics). Psychologists who practice outside their areas of competence when providing substance abuse services are subject to disciplinary action by the Board, including the suspension or revocation of licensure.
(2) Substance abuse services provided by a psychology practice through a psychology trainee completing the supervised experience requirement for licensure. Board regulations require that the trainee be supervised by a licensed psychologist competent to perform the professional services rendered by the trainee. See § § 41.31 and 41.32 (relating to educational qualifications; and standards for supervisors). Psychologists who fail to meet this requirement when supervising a trainee who provides substance abuse services are subject to disciplinary action by the Board, including the suspension or revocation of licensure.
(3) Substance abuse services provided by a psychology practice through an unlicensed employee with graduate training in psychology. Board regulations require that the employee be supervised by a licensed psychologist competent to perform the professional services rendered by the employee. See § 41.58 (relating to standards for the employment and supervision of unlicensed persons with graduate training in psychology). Psychologists who fail to meet this requirement when supervising an unlicensed employee who provides substance abuse services are subject to disciplinary action by the Board, including the suspension or revocation of licensure.
The provisions of this § 41.8 adopted April 2, 1993, effective April 3, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 1585.
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