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Agreement reached on psychologist prescription bill

Thursday, May 29, 2014

* If you’re checking the live session coverage post, you know that the House is currently debating legislation that would allow psychologists to prescribe medication. This is an agreed bill, written by the Medical Society, which is remaining publicly neutral.

A press release from the Coalition for Patient Safety has some dot points…

Psychologists have finally agreed to obtain biomedical education and clinical training so they can prescribe psychiatric medication:

• Clinical psychologists have to take a specific number of undergraduate biomedical science courses.

• And they will now receive a full-time practicum of 14 months supervised clinical training of at least 36 credit hours.

To further preserve patient safety, clinical psychologists have also accepted crucial limitations on their prescription privileges:

• Under the following circumstances, clinical psychologists will not be able to prescribe for:

    o Patients who are less than 17 years of age or over 65 years of age.
    o Patients who are pregnant.
    o Patients who have serious medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, or seizures.
    o Patients who have developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities.

• Psychologists CANNOT prescribe benzodiazepine, Schedule II controlled substances or narcotics, and there are significant limitations to prescribing Schedule III through V controlled substances.

• Out-of-state clinical psychologists CANNOT prescribe in Illinois unless they meet the Illinois standards required for biomedical education and clinical training, and abide by the patient safety measures outlined in SB 2187.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - Toto Riina - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Seems like the psychologists gave in on pretty much everything.


  2. - Nonplussed - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Nice to see the Drs. preserve for themselves the biggest scam going in mental health: prescribing anti-psychotics to children so they qualify for SSI disability.


  3. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Why do we need this? Is there a growing problem being addressed with this legislation? When would it be necessary for a clinical psychologist to go around medical doctors for a client? Is this all about convenience?

    If we say no, and keep the situation as it is, who would be not getting their needed prescriptions? Is there a bottleneck in the current system?

    We cannot control pychopharmaceutical and other drug abuse by empowering more people to prescribe them. I prefer the current set up.

    Making clinical psychologists take classes and putting conditions on whom they can prescribe to isn’t enough, in my opinion or experience.


  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    ===Is there a growing problem being addressed with this legislation?===

    A lack of psychiatrists in many Downstate areas is the stated reason.

    Money is prolly another, as always here.


  5. - Just Me - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    One part of the problem missing from the debate is that this is already legal in the US military. If it is good enough for our men and women in combat, it is good enough for those with mental problems that can’t get access to help, and instead end up in county jails because of their mental health issues cause them to commit crimes.


  6. - OneMan - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    also as I understand it more problems are treated with drugs than there were 20 years ago, so it opens some options for the psychologists….

    The other question would be for these folks is what prescriptive authority is going to do to their malpractice rates. The limits on age on each side as well as some of the other limits might help with that.


  7. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    In a previous post, the idea that psychologists were going to fill a gap in service due to a lack of psychiatrists in some rural areas was challenged. Makes you wonder what this is about, if it isn’t money. Won’t seem to matter because all the fun stuff is off the list and along with the training needed, what’s the point?


  8. - concerned citizen - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Wow - the psychologists totally capitulated on all the shrinks’ demands…


  9. - Eduardo Corrochio - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    So essentially, this bill requires psychologists to get the same level of training that other medical professionals need to prescribe, and limits who they can prescribe to where there’s an elevated risk. Seems like the psychologists caved, but if it means that Illinois isn’t allowing for shortcuts when allowing people to prescribe powerful meds, I’m in favor of it.


  10. - BigBob - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    It’s a toe in the door. It’ll be the foot later, barring a big scandal.


  11. - OneMan - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    So essentially, this bill requires psychologists to get the same level of training that other medical professionals need to prescribe,

    One way or another that was going to happen. No way were those who can prescribe going to allow a lower bar for someone else. Real slippery slope there.


  12. - logic not emotion - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    I live and work in areas which are health care provider and mental health provider shortage areas. I personally know several mental health professionals and a larger number of physicians. I wasn’t in favor of the original bill. I think this one is more palatable.

    One of the main issues is medication management and even physicians (especially those without a strong pharmacy background) can create new problems if they don’t adequately understand the side effects and interactions between different medications. Expecting psychologists to avoid that without ensuring they have adequate training is either arrogant or delusional.


  13. - Docaloha - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    I am a psychologist who was opposed to the original bill, and find the current bill more palatable, though I think it is unnecessary. We will see how popular it is with the psychologists who wanted these privileges now that the shortcuts have been eliminated, and they need the same level of training as other prescribers.


  14. - logic not emotion - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    Docaloha: I know of another psychologist who was also opposed to the original bill. If you can share, why do you think the association was really pushing it and why were you opposed? Thanks for your insight!


  15. - Chgohunt - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    It remains an unnecessary allowance and few if any psychologists in Illinois will meet these criteria to prescribe a limited set of medications. None currently. Is the new approach palatable; MDs are accepting it. As a psychologist, why bother.


  16. - Medical Psychologist - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    A bad bill afterall. I was opposed and continue to be opposed but I would consider becoming a prescribing psychologist I would rather go the Physicians Assistant route rather then for-profit professional school route (those really behind this bill ammended multiple times apparently just for the sake of passing).


  17. - James Teach - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 6:08 pm:

    Psychologists prescribing endorsed by Dr. Carlat:
    http://carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/03/psychologists-prescribing-best-thing.html


  18. - jtomorrow - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 7:30 pm:

    In other words they want licensed Doctors to go back to college and start over after they have spent 6-10 years of post-graduate education followed by several years of supervised work plus exams. why can’t they just use the tried and true education program of the Department of Defense which has been successful since 1991? This is just another example of the Medical Establishment monopoly.


  19. - jtomorrow - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 7:31 pm:

    In other words they want licensed Doctors to go back to college and start over after they have spent 6-10 years of post-graduate education followed by several years of supervised work plus exams. Why can’t they just use the tried and true education program of the Department of Defense which has been successful since 1991? This is just another example of the Medical Establishment monopoly.


  20. - Anna - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 8:01 pm:

    I agree with jtomorrow. It has worked well in the military and in other states that have it. This is needed and for families it is nice to have the same person who is helping with interventions be the one who can prescribe.


  21. - Roscoe Tom - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 8:24 pm:

    Should be perfect for Dr. Benton Cook III after he fakes more credentials and Dorothy Brown; him prescribing and her referring her patronage employees all at county expense.


  22. - A modest proposal - Thursday, May 29, 14 @ 11:01 pm:

    “This is just another example of the Medical Establishment monopoly.”

    Jtomorrow - this is why people in the US spend more on healthcare than anywhere else in the country. Competition doesn’t exist.


  23. - Aldyth - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 8:11 am:

    In rural areas, there are a lot of clinics with revolving door psychiatrists. Many don’t even stick around for a year. If this will result in getting a few psychologists who will get to know the individual on a long-term basis, it will be better than a televised visit with a psychiatrist who stays for six months.


  24. - Jimmy3422 - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    They can’t prescribed Adderall, but at least they can prescribe Xanax and Ambien. I’m on a high dosage and it’s hard to find a psychiatrist that will prescribe it to me.


  25. - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    Interesting - no benzos for psychologists. You know why? These meds are often reason why patients keep going to a psychiatrist. It is not unlike a drug dealer situation - psychiatrist will “keep assessing you,” charging you for the visits and prescribing benzos hehe… I guess they want to hold the market on benzos…


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