JANUARY 30, 2015
A substantial amount of the Committee’s time was spent discussing telehealth
generally. Specifically reviewed was telehealth, both inside and outside of California,
to determine best courses of action for the regulation of telehealth performed
on California residents, and telehealth performed by California-regulated psychotherapists.
The Committee took public comment on drafting requirements of telehealth such
as encryption, informed consent, and emergency resource communication. The Committee
reviewed the draft regulations in light of the feedback submitted by the public,
and will revise the regulations to capture the recommendations of the Committee
for further comment at the next meeting.
The Committee also discussed possible legislation for 2016, which would codify,
for the purposes of clarifying, that trainees indeed can provide telehealth services,
which is not specifically spelled out in Bus. & Prof. Code section 2290.5,
the section which defines telehealth. However, CAMFT pointed out that they had
already secured an author for similar legislation, and as such, the Committee
instead decided to bring CAMFT’s legislation to the Board with a recommendation
CAMFT thanked the Committee for reviewing the standards and requirements of telehealth,
an overdue process which is necessary for clarity to psychotherapists, as well
as for consumer protection. CAMFT will continue to watch this process carefully
and be a vocal stakeholder in the development of any legislation or regulation.
AB 1629 (2014): Violence Peer Counselors
The Committee discussed AB 1629 (2014) and the requirement for violence-peer
counselor reimbursement through the California Victims Compensation Board. The
Committee articulated concerns about the lack of clarity surrounding the scope
of practice of peer counselors and shared that the CVC Board acknowledged that
additional clarity could be amended into the law, if necessary. The Committee
will work with the CVC Board on possible clarifying language and put it out to
public comment once it is received. CAMFT testified that it, too, had concerns
about the lack of clarity of the peer-counselor’s role, as well as concerns
for possible consumer harm without greater specificity and training.
AB 2198 (2014): Suicide Prevention
The Committee discussed AB 2198, which was vetoed in 2014, but will likely be
reintroduced in 2015. The Committee shared that the BBS was attempting to gain
data from LMFT, LCSW and LPCC master’s programs regarding content on suicide
assessment training for the purposes of showing that no additional continuing
education was necessary. CAMFT stated that they opposed AB 2198 in 2014, and
would likely oppose any new introduction of similar legislation. Instead, CAMFT
has been requesting that a stakeholder process group to determine whether there
is a lack of training, and, if so, where the additional training would best occur.
BBS Proposed Legislation
The BBS has two possible pieces of legislation which will introduced in 2015:
Supervised Work Experience Bill—This bill streamlines the experience requirements
for LMFT and LPCC applicants. It eliminates the complex assortment of minimum
and maximum hours of differing types of experience required for licensure (also
known as the “buckets” of experience) and instead requires 1,750
hours of the experience to be direct clinical counseling hours. The remaining
required 1,250 hours may be non¬clinical experience. The bill also makes
amendments to LCSW law to allow LCSW applicants to count some direct supervisor
contact hours, as well as some hours spent attending workshops, trainings, conferences,
and seminars, toward their required experience.
Enforcement Process Bill--This bill makes two separate amendments to the law
governing the enforcement process: a) It modifies the Board’s requirements
for an individual to petition for a termination of probation or modification
of penalty. Under the proposal, the Board may deny a petition without hearing
if the petitioner is not in compliance with the terms of his or her probation;
b) It clarifies that the Board has jurisdiction to investigate and take disciplinary
action even if the status of a license or registration changes or if the license
or registration expires.
The goal of these changes is to increase the efficiency of the enforcement process.
Next Meeting: April 24, 2015 in Sacramento, CA.