Time Sensitive re: Clinical Scope of Practice

May 27, 2022

Yesterday afternoon we received a DRAFT bill (has not been introduced in Assembly or Senate yet) that takes a different approach to resolve the clinical scope of practice issue we have been working on that pertains to Article 163 practitioners (MHCs, MFTS and Psychoanalysts).

As you will recall, an earlier draft proposal we reviewed with members would have created a two-tiered credential for LMHCs, LMFTs and Psychoanalysts that emulates the current stratification that exists between LMSWs and LCSWs where the higher level credential (in this case, the LCSW) permits the qualifying practitioner to diagnose independently (without supervision) in our agencies and in private practice.

The revised draft bill we received yesterday afternoon is less complicated and seeks to assign a diagnostic ‘privilege’ to those Article 163 practitioners who qualify.  Here’s a summary:

  • Defines “diagnosis” and “development of assessment based treatment plans”
  • Creates a Diagnostic Privilege for LMHCs, LMFTs and Psychoanalysts to diagnose and develop treatment plans
  • To quality, they would file an application with SED, be licensed and registered in NYS, complete at least 12 semester hours of clinical coursework acceptable to SED (those with Masters or higher degree can satisfy through equivalent post-graduate courses), have at least 2000 hours of supervised direct client contact including diagnosis, psychotherapy and development of treatment plans, and pay $175 good for life of privilege holder.
  • Waives the Experience requirement (2000 hours) for individuals licensed prior to 6/24/24 and currently employed and who have maintained employment in a facility or supervised setting for at least 2 years prior to 6/24/24.
  • Includes a section saying nothing shall prohibit or limit LMHCs, LMFTs, or Psychoanalysts from engaging in diagnosis and development of treatment plans in a facility or supervised setting under supervision until 6/24/24 when this section would sunset
  • The bill would take effect 6/24/22 with the diagnostic privilege beginning to be issued 6/24/24

The draft requires sufficient education, training and supervised experience in order for SED to authorize the privileges under consideration. The required licensing examination and clinical education curriculum standards is already in place for the involved Art 163 practitioners.  

The bill preserves skills and expertise of the existing workforce by grandfathering previously obtained education, supervising experience, and examinations to satisfy new requirements.  This provision acknowledges on-the-job training and experience with diagnosis and the development of assessment-based treatment plans.

The DRAFT bill is attached.  For those who may have trouble reading bill language it may be confusing so it is best to refer to our summary (pasted above).  Please let me now if you can live with the elements of the revised bill that we list (above)?  This bill is time-sensitive and needs to be introduced very soon making your feedback critical and time sensitive.

Please note:  The bill attached is a draft and as such, it is subject to changes.  For instance, we want to see the amount of time impacted practitioners have to complete all requirements to obtain the diagnostic privilege pushed out to 3 years rather than proposed two years.

Thank you!