August 17, 2022
This June, Governor Hochul signed into law S9449/A6008-E, a law authorizing licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and psychoanalysts to obtain the privilege to diagnose mental illness and develop assessment-based treatment plans. The final version of the law included language matching the requirements for education, examination and supervised experience already in place for LCSWs. Since then, OMH and OASAS came out with guidance for impacted providers pertaining to program operations now that the sweeping workforce exemption has sunset.
The information below was recently posted to the SED Website here: http://www.op.nysed.gov/news/home.html#clinicalmh It provides a useful (brief) summary of enacted law and approved regulation which outlines provisions and timelines well. It also notifies the public of an important Board of Regents meeting coming up on Monday, August 22.
As always, we are here to assist you. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (518) 461-8200 at your convenience.
Clinical content for mental health diagnostic privilegeChapter 230 of 2022 establishes the requirements for the diagnostic privilege available to mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and psychoanalysts, effective June 24, 2024. The law requires an applicant for the privilege to be licensed and registered in New York and to demonstrate clinical content in the 60-semester hour masters or higher degree, as well as completing supervised experience in diagnosis and psychotherapy.
The Board of Regents adopted emergency regulations, effective July 12, 2022, to address limited permits, authorized settings, and qualified supervisors. Later this year, the Regents will discuss regulations to define clinical content required to diagnose and create assessment-based treatment plans. The State Board for Mental Health Practitioners, which assists the Regents and the Department with the license, practice, and discipline of the professions, will meet virtually on Monday August 22, 2022, from 2 to 3 p.m. to discuss the diagnostic privilege authorized by section 8401-a of the Education law.
The State Board invites interested parties to observe the online meeting. The link to observe the meeting scheduled for Monday, August 22, 2022 is below. Any questions should be directed to MHPBD@nysed.gov.
WebEx Join from the meeting link:
Effective June 24, 2024, Chapter 230 of the Laws of 2022 will authorize the Department to issue a diagnostic privilege to mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and psychoanalysts, licensed and registered in New York, who have met the privilege requirements. These requirements include:
- Submitting the application and $175 fee for the privilege to the Department;
- Documenting a 60-semester hour, or the clock hour equivalent, master’s degree that includes 12 semester hours of clinical content; and
- Verification of 2,000 hours of supervised experience, under the supervision of a qualified supervisor, in diagnosis, psychotherapy and assessment-based treatment planning in an authorized setting.
A licensee who earns the privilege will have to renew it every three years, at the same time as they re-registered for practice.
The law provides an exemption that allows licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and psychoanalysts employed in certain settings to diagnose and develop assessment-based treatment plans until June 24, 2025. This will allow those licensees to complete additional supervised experience to meet the requirements for the privilege by engaging in activities that otherwise would not be lawful.
The Board of Regents adopted emergency regulations, effective July 12, 2022, that define acceptable settings and qualified supervisors for applicants seeking the privilege. The regulations also clarify the process by which a licensee who does not work in an exempt setting can obtain a limited diagnostic permit, which will authorize them practice under a qualified supervisor in an authorized setting while meeting the additional education and/or experience requirements for the privilege. The emergency regulations are available at http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/722ppca1.pdf.
The emergency regulations were published in the State Register on July 27, 2022 for a 60-day public comment period. The Board of Regents will discuss proposed regulations to clarify the clinical education requirements for the privilege and acceptable supervised experience for individuals licensed prior to June 24, 2022, who submit their diagnostic privilege application and fee by June 24, 2027.
Frequently asked questions and answers, privilege applications and diagnostic limited permit forms, as well as updates on the regulations, will be posted on our website on a regular basis in the coming months.
The Department may not issue the privilege before June 24, 2024, the effective date of Education Law §8401-a. Additionally, Department staff cannot review or evaluate a prospective applicant’s education or supervised experience until the licensee submits the application, fee and all required documentation.