California Telehealth RegulationProposed California Telehealth Regulation: Board of Psychology Comment Period

This week, the California Board of Psychology (BoP) issued an alert announcing that it filed a Public Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action with the California Office of Administrative Law to proposed new California Telehealth Regulation. Adding section 1396.8 of Title 16 of the code of California Telehealth Regulations, this proposal establishes standards of practice for providing services via telehealth by licensed California psychologists and psychology trainees. Showing leadership in the area of telehealth, this proposed legislation is designed to support clients or patients between regularly scheduled office visits or while they are temporarily located outside of this State.

Focus of Proposed California Telehealth Regulation

In short, this proposed legislation proposes the following four changes to the California regulatory code for psychologists who wish to practice telepsychology:
  • Establishes standards of practice for telehealth by licensed California psychologists and psychology trainees
  • Applicable for professionals treating a patient or client who is a resident of California who is temporarily located outside of California
  • Applicable to clients or patients who initiate psychological health care services while in California, but who may not be a resident of the State
  • Improves access to psychological care for underserved populations

Open Comment Period for Section 1396.8 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations

The Board of Psychology has posted the proposed legislation for public comment. While many states have passed new regulations regarding telehealth without widely publicized public comment periods, California psychologists are in a good position to be noticed. The Telebehavioral Health Institute encourages all California psychologists to take a few minutes to help decide the fate of telehealth in their state. Given that California often sets precedent for regulations in a variety of areas, advocating for thoughtful regulations could have widespread repercussions. Taking the time to include mention of the ways a client or patient has been helped is advised. It may also be helpful to mention the impact of telehealth on your ability to on your general practice and finances now as well as into the future.
The open comment period begins August 14, 2020 and ends September 29, 2020.All comments must be received by the Board at its office no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, or must be received by the Board at the hearing.

Contact Information for Making Comments to the Newly Proposed Regulation

Written comments, including those sent by mail, facsimile, or e-mail to the addresses listed at the bottom of the Regulation Notice. Anyone may present statements or arguments orally or in writing relevant to the action proposed at a hearing to be held at:

Wednesday September 30, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Department of Consumer Affairs

El Dorado Room #220

1625 N Market Blvd

Sacramento, CA 95834