Issue Spotlight: Psychologist Prescribing

Date of Publication (January 22, 2016)

Three states – New Mexico, Louisiana, and Illinois – have granted psychologists prescriptive authority in some form. The measure before the Iowa General Assembly this year is different from past years, but still more similar to the broader New Mexico and Louisiana statutes. Under the bill, the Board of Psychology could grant full prescriptive authority for psychotropic medications to a psychologist who has received additional training. For the first year of his or her prescriptive authority, the psychologist must practice under the supervision of a physician. The psychologist can practice independently in subsequent years. Below is a summary of the legislation.

 

Provision

Description

Qualifying
Requirements

  • Must hold a current Iowa psychology license

  • Within five years immediately preceding the application, completed pharmacology training at an institute approved by the board

  • Passed a national certification exam approved by the board

  • Within five years immediately preceding the application, has been certified by the supervising physician as having completed at least 84 hours of clinical assessment practicum and at least 400 hours of supervised practicum treating at least 100 patients with mental disorders

Education
Requirements

At least 10 weeks of classroom training in the following areas:

  • Neuroscience

  • Pharmacology

  • Psychopharmacology

  • Physiology

  • “Appropriate and relevant” physical and laboratory assessment

Conditional
Prescription
Certificate

  • Must meet all qualifying and education requirements

  • Must prescribe under the supervision of a licensed physician

  • Certificate is valid for two years

Prescription
Certificate

  • Must currently possess a Conditional Prescription Certificate and have completed one year of prescribing psychotropic medications under the supervision of a physician

  • No physician supervision requirement; must maintain an ongoing collaborative relationship with a licensed physician

  • Must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CME for prescribing psychologists

Medications
a
Psychologist
May
Prescribe

Any controlled substance or other drug whose primary indication is for the treatment of mental disorders and is listed as a psychotherapeutic agent in the American Hospital Formulary Service.

Supervising
Physician

  • Must hold a current Iowa license

  • The Board of Medicine, in consultation with the Board of Psychology, would establish rules for determining when to initiate disciplinary proceedings for inappropriate supervision of a prescribing psychologist

 

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