Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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49 Pa. Code § 49.17. Department of Health licensing of substance abuse services provided by professional counseling practices—statement of policy.

§ 49.17. Department of Health licensing of substance abuse services provided by professional counseling practices—statement of policy.

 (a)  Background and purpose. The Board licenses professional counselors in this Commonwealth. The Department of Health licenses providers who operate facilities in this Commonwealth. Licensed professional counselors may, within the scope of their practice, encounter clients who are seeking help with drug or alcohol addiction, who may need drug or alcohol addiction treatment, or who may have drug or alcohol addiction issues as part of the broader range of issues for which they seek counseling from licensed professional counselors. This section clarifies when licensed professional counselors who provide the services will be considered to be operating a drug and alcohol treatment facility requiring licensure from the Department of Health. This section expresses the joint position of the Board and the Department of Health on this matter.

 (b)  Statutory authority. The act authorizes the Board to license professional counselors and to regulate the practice of professional counseling in this Commonwealth. Articles IX and X of the Public Welfare Code (62 P. S. § §  901—922 and 1001—1059), and regulations promulgated thereunder in 28 Pa. Code Chapter 709 (relating to standards for licensure of free-standing treatment facilities), vest the Department of Health with all functions, powers and duties with regard to the regulation, supervision and licensing of drug and alcohol facilities and services.

 (c)  Guidelines.

   (1)  This joint statement of policy clarifies when practitioners providing drug and alcohol treatment services will be considered to be operating a drug and alcohol treatment facility requiring licensure from the Department of Health. The term ‘‘facility’’ is defined by the Department of Health in 28 Pa. Code §  701.1 (relating to definitions) as ‘‘the physical location in which ongoing, structured, and systematic drug and alcohol services are delivered.’’ Accordingly, the Department of Health and the Board have agreed upon the following. In determining whether any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity intending to provide services is a facility as defined in 28 Pa. Code §  701.1, and thus subject to licensure, the Board will consider the following criteria:

     (i)   Whether a primary purpose of an individual or entity is to render a program of psychological, social or other therapies on a planned and regularly scheduled basis to assist individuals to deal with patterns of drug and alcohol use, abuse or dependency.

     (ii)   Whether an individual or entity publicly advertises or promotes itself as providing a program of distinct drug and alcohol services.

     (iii)   Whether an individual or entity employs staff who specialize in the provision of drug and alcohol services.

   (2)  If a facility meets one or more of the criteria in paragraph (1), a license may be required. The Department of Health will assess the circumstances and make a fact specific, case-by-case determination whether a license is necessary. This policy does not apply to substance abuse services that are being provided by an individual licensed professional counselor that are compatible with the practitioner’s education and professional competence.

Source

   The provisions of this §  49.17 adopted May 27, 2005, effective May 28, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 3150.



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