ASSEMBLY, No. 2419

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 6, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.

District 18 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Singleton, Eustace, Mainor, P.Barnes, III, Assemblywoman Caride, Assemblymen Wolfe, Caputo and Fuentes

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Provides for certain psychologists to prescribe medications.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.


An Act concerning psychologists and supplementing chapter 14B of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1. As used in this act:

"Board" means the State Board of Psychological Examiners established pursuant to P.L.1966, c.282 (C.45:14B-1 et seq.).

"Clinical experience" means a period of supervised training and practice in which clinical diagnoses and interventions are learned and which are conducted and supervised as part of the training program.

"Controlled dangerous substance" means controlled dangerous substance as defined in section 2 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2), and includes any substances listed in Schedules I through V of the federal "Controlled Substances Act," Pub.L. 91-513 (21 U.S.C. s.801 et seq.) as adopted by regulation of the Department of Health and Senior Services.

"Drugs" means drugs as defined in section 2 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2).

"Licensed practicing psychologist" means a licensed, practicing psychologist as defined in section 2 of P.L.1966, c.282 (C.45:14B-2).

"Prescribing psychologist" means a licensed practicing psychologist with a doctoral-level degree who: (1) has successfully graduated with a postdoctoral master's degree in clinical psychopharmacology from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or has completed equivalent training to the postdoctoral master's degree approved by the board; (2) has passed an examination approved by the board that is relevant to establishing competence for prescribing, as described in section 3 of this act; and (3) has received from the board a certificate granting prescriptive authority, which is current and has not been revoked or suspended.

"Prescription" means prescription as defined in section 2 of P.L.2003, c.280 (C.45:14-41), and includes a controlled dangerous substance.

"Prescriptive authority" means the authority to prescribe, administer, discontinue, and distribute drugs, including controlled dangerous substances, recognized in or customarily used in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a person with a psychiatric, mental, cognitive, nervous, emotional, or behavioral disorder, or other procedure directly related thereto, within the scope of practice of psychology in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this act.

 

2. The board shall:

a. issue a certificate granting prescriptive authority, in accordance with applicable State and federal laws, to a licensed practicing psychologist with a doctoral-level degree, who meets the criteria specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of the definition of prescribing psychologist in section 1 of this act;

b. develop and implement procedures for reviewing the education and training credentials for issuing such certificates in accordance with current standards of professional practice; and

c. prescribe, by regulation, a method for the renewal of prescriptive authority at the time of, or in conjunction with, the renewal of a prescribing psychologist's license pursuant to P.L.1966, c.282 (C.45:14B-1 et seq.). Each applicant for renewal of prescriptive authority shall present evidence satisfactory to the board, demonstrating the completion of 18 contact hours of continuing education instruction relevant to prescriptive authority during the previous two-year license period of the licensee.

 

3. A licensed practicing psychologist who applies for prescriptive authority shall demonstrate, by submitting to the board an official transcript or other official evidence satisfactory to the board, compliance with the following standards:

a. The psychologist holds a doctoral-level degree and has:

(1) completed a postdoctoral master's degree in clinical psychopharmacology from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or training equivalent to the postdoctoral master's degree approved by the board. The postdoctoral master's degree in clinical psychopharmacology or equivalent training shall include a structured sequence of study in an organized program offering intensive didactic education, including the following core areas of instruction: basic life sciences, neurosciences, clinical and research pharmacology and psychopharmacology, clinical medicine and pathophysiology, physical assessment and laboratory exams, clinical pharmacotherapeutics, and research, professional, ethical, and legal issues.

The didactic portion of the education shall consist of at least 400 hours, as recommended by the American Psychological Association, to ensure acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skills to prescribe in a safe and effective manner; and

(2) obtained relevant clinical experience sufficient to attain competency in the psychopharmacological treatment of a diverse patient population under the direction of qualified practitioners, including, but not limited to, licensed physicians or prescribing psychologists, as determined by the board; and

b. A prescribing psychologist shall pass an examination developed by a nationally recognized body, such as the American Psychological Association Practice Organization's College of Professional Psychology, and approved by the board.


4. a. A prescribing psychologist shall exercise prescriptive authority in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this act.

b. A prescribing psychologist shall not issue a prescription unless the psychologist:

(1) holds a certificate of prescriptive authority which is current and has not been revoked or suspended; and

(2) has first contacted the physician of record of a patient to discuss the prescription.

c. Each prescription issued by a prescribing psychologist shall:

(1) comply with all applicable State and federal laws and regulations relating to prescriptive authority; and

(2) be identified as written by a prescribing psychologist, in such manner as determined by the board.

d. A record of all prescriptions issued for a patient shall be maintained in the patient's record.

e. A prescribing psychologist shall not delegate his prescriptive authority to any other person.

 

5. a. A prescribing psychologist, when prescribing a controlled dangerous substance, shall file with the board in a timely manner the prescribing psychologist's Drug Enforcement Administration registration and number, and the State controlled dangerous substance license number, if applicable.

b. The board shall maintain current records of each prescribing psychologist with prescriptive authority, including the psychologist's Drug Enforcement Administration registration and number.

 

6. a. The board shall transmit to the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy a list of prescribing psychologists. The list shall include, for each prescribing psychologist:

(1) the person's name;

(2) the identification number assigned to the person by the board; and

(3) the effective date of the person's prescriptive authority.

b. As a new certificate granting prescriptive authority is issued, the board shall update the list specified in subsection a. of this section by promptly forwarding to the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy information specified in subsection a. of this section.

c. The board shall notify the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, in a timely manner, upon termination, suspension, or reinstatement of prescriptive authority of a prescribing psychologist.

 

7. Pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), the board shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.

8. This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment, but the board may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill provides for certain licensed psychologists to prescribe medications.

As provided in this bill, the State Board of Psychological Examiners (board) shall issue a certificate of "prescriptive authority" to a licensed practicing psychologist with a doctoral-level degree, who: (1) has successfully graduated with a postdoctoral master's degree in clinical psychopharmacology from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or has completed equivalent training to the postdoctoral master's degree approved by the board; and (2) has passed an examination approved by the board that is relevant to establishing competence for prescribing drugs.

"Prescriptive authority" is defined in the bill as the authority to prescribe, administer, discontinue, and distribute drugs, including controlled dangerous substances, recognized in or customarily used in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a person with a psychiatric, mental, cognitive, nervous, emotional, or behavioral disorder, or other procedure directly related thereto, within the scope of practice of psychology in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the bill.

Under the provisions of the bill, in addition to issuing a certificate of prescriptive authority, the board is mandated to develop and implement procedures for reviewing the education and training credentials for issuing such certificates in accordance with current standards of professional practice.

The bill provides that a licensed practicing psychologist who applies for prescriptive authority must demonstrate, by submitting to the board an official transcript or other official evidence satisfactory to the board, compliance with the following standards:

      The psychologist holds a doctoral-level degree and has:

--completed a postdoctoral master's degree in clinical psychopharmacology from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or training equivalent to the postdoctoral master's degree approved by the board. The degree in clinical psychopharmacology or equivalent training must include a structured sequence of study in an organized program offering intensive didactic education, including the following core areas of instruction: basic life sciences, neurosciences, clinical and research pharmacology and psychopharmacology, clinical medicine and pathophysiology, physical assessment and laboratory exams, clinical pharmacotherapeutics, and research, professional, ethical, and legal issues. In addition, the didactic portion of the education must consist of at least 400 hours; and

-- obtained relevant clinical experience sufficient to attain competency in the psychopharmacological treatment of a diverse patient population under the direction of qualified practitioners, including, but not limited to, licensed physicians or prescribing psychologists, as determined by the board.

A prescribing psychologist must pass an examination developed by a nationally recognized body, such as the American Psychological Association Practice Organization's College of Professional Psychology, and approved by the board.

The bill also specifies that:

      A prescribing psychologist shall exercise prescriptive authority in accordance with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the bill;

      A prescribing psychologist shall not issue a prescription unless the psychologist holds a certificate of prescriptive authority which is current and has not been revoked or suspended; and has first contacted the physician of record of a patient to discuss the presciption;

      Each prescription issued by a prescribing psychologist shall:

--comply with all applicable State and federal laws and regulations relating to prescriptive authority; and

--be identified as written by a prescribing psychologist, in such manner as determined by the board;

      A record of all prescriptions issued for a patient shall be maintained in the patient's record;

      A prescribing psychologist shall not delegate his prescriptive authority to any other person; and

      A prescribing psychologist, when prescribing a controlled dangerous substance, shall file with the board in a timely manner the prescribing psychologist's Drug Enforcement Administration registration and number, and the State controlled dangerous substance license number, if applicable.

The board is required to maintain current records of each prescribing psychologist with prescriptive authority, including the psychologist's Drug Enforcement Administration registration and number, and is to transmit to the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy a list of prescribing psychologists. The list, which would be updated, as necessary, shall include, for each prescribing psychologist: the person's name; the identification number assigned to the person by the board; and the effective date of the person's prescriptive authority. In addition, the board must notify the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, in a timely manner, upon termination, suspension, or reinstatement of prescriptive authority of a prescribing psychologist.

The bill provides for rulemaking by the board and has a delayed effective date of the first day of the seventh month following enactment, but allows the board to take anticipatory action in advance as necessary for implementation of the bill.