On April 23rd, 2019, Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp signed GA HB 26 into law, making Georgia the eighth state to enact the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), and thereby officially legalizing interjurisdictional telepsychology for states who have joined the PSYPACT.
The PSYPACT involves the formal approval of a “model act” developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) to allow approved professionals from a PSYPACT state to legally practice over state lines in any one of the other PSYPACT member states. These states now include Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and Georgia. Illinois is slated to join this group as of January 1, 2020. States seeking to join the PSYPACT must formally accept the ASPPB model act into state law.
Professionals licensed in PSYPACT states must apply, pay fees and comply with a number of regulations that are shared across member states. For example, professionals must be licensed in at least one PSYPACT state; cannot have been found guilty of a regulatory infraction, and be able to demonstrate having taken at least 3 CE hours of training related to licensure mobility.
In a press release dated April 23, 2019, ASPPB CEO Dr. Mariann Burnetti-Atwell is quoted as saying:
ASPPB is excited to announce with the recent signing by Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp of GA HB 26, the much-awaited Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact is now ready to assist licensed psychologist to practice psychology across state lines. These are exciting times for the psychologist and for the individuals they will serve.
The ASPPB press release further explains:
PSYPACT is an interstate compact specifically designed to facilitate the practice of telepsychology and the temporary face-to-face practice of psychology across state lines. Upon becoming operational, each PSYPACT participating state will select one Commissioner to serve as that state’s representative on the PSYPACT Commission. The PSYPACT Commission is the governing body of PSYPACT and is responsible for the drafting and publication of PSYPACT Bylaws and Rules. Upon completion of these documents and finalization of requirements for the ASPPB E.Passport Certificate (for telepsychology) and Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate (for temporary practice), the process will open for licensed psychologists to apply for/begin using these certificates and practicing under the authority of PSYPACT.
According to ASPPB President Dr. Gerald O’Brien, “PSYPACT will promote further cooperation and standardization of requirements among psychology licensing boards, and consequently will improve access to psychological services while serving to protect consumers.”
The Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) is proud to have been instrumental in the development of this important process by introducing the former CEO of ASPPB to the Director of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT), who awarded ASPPB a grant totaling more than $1,000,000 to examine models for interjurisdictional practice. TBHI currently offers a number of professional training web-based webinars, courses and certificate programs for psychologists seeking to meet application and renewal requirements for the PSYPACT.
ADDED NOTE: Oklahoma became the 9th PSYPACT state on April 29, 2019. See this TBHI post for details of the Oklahoma PSYPACT.
Need specific information about legally practicing over state lines and the PSYPACT law? TBHI’s “How to Legally Practice Over State Lines with Telebehavioral Health and Telemental Health” online training will look at what has been accomplished, what is still left to be accomplished and more importantly, action-items for all practitioners who wish to expand their services over state and international borders. Basic issues regarding good clinical practice, regulatory boards, and resources for practitioners as well as decisions makers in hospitals, agencies, and clinics will also be included.