Telepsychology LicensingThe Association for State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) has developed an interjurisdictional telepsychology licensing compact draft for the United States and Canada. The draft is available for review and comment. Psychology’s compact differs from that of the Federation of State Medical Board’s (FSMB) compact in a number of important ways. The primary difference is that the psychology regulatory group’s proposed compact takes a step further than FSMB’s by asking states to participate in a shared licensure arrangement rather than agreeing to hold documentation for use by individual states. Similar to the shared arrangements the states have with driver’s licenses, the ASPPB compact will allow members of one state to deliver telepsychology in other states who have signed the compact.

For details of the FSMB’s proposed compact, see reports posted earlier this year in the TMHI blogs entitled, Physicians Set a Bold Example with New Model Act to Shape Professional Licensure Portability and More and FSMB Model Act Update. By taking a step beyond the model proposed by the FSMB, the ASPPB model will reportedly make practicing across state lines easier, less expensive and more supportive of telehealth than the medical group.

There is a 90-day open comment and review period that will run from September 1, 2014 through November 31, 2014. Approved by the ASPPB’s Board in August, the proposed compact will require seven state boards to initially agree on participation to make the compact  to formally go into effect. After the open comment period, individual state boards will be under increased pressure to respond by addressing the needs of licensees who are advocating for cross-border practice as a way to keep up with innovation.

Whether or not you are a psychologist, taking a few minutes to review and comment on this proposed initiative will strengthen this the interdisciplinary effort to support telepractice. If you are a psychologist, we encourage you to contact your state regulatory board to ask about their support of the proposed compact. Some states have announced a reticence to participate. Your voice may be needed to help decision-makers see the benefit and need for interstate practice. Putting your voice into a short letter or email to your telepsychology licensing board is likely to be the most effective way to help.

For more advocacy ideas and an inside view of what is happening at the regulatory landscape with respect to telepractice, please see our July webinar, entitled, Telehealth: How to Legally Practice Over Statelines for Psychologists.