How do prescribing psychologists affect liability insurance premiums?

In states that have passed RxP legislation, liability insurance premiums have been raised 15% only for psychologists with licenses to prescribe who are insured by The Trust. To date, very few malpractice complaints have been filed against prescribing psychologists and most were dismissed, according to Dr. Jana Martin, CEO of The Trust. Non- prescribing psychologists have seen no increase in their rates. There has also been much testimony by prescribing psychologists throughout the country, including psychologists who prescribe on Indian reservations, psychologists who prescribe in the United States Public Health Service, psychologists who prescribe in the United States Coast Guard, psychologists who prescribe in United States military facilities throughout the world, and psychologists who prescribe in RxP states that corroborate this assertion for prescribing psychologists’ practicing over the past 30 years.

How will successful RxP legislation affect attacks against our license from the medical community?

The medical community does not attack our existing license. The medical community generally aims to prevent psychologists from expanding their scope of practice and has, in the past, unsuccessfully lobbied against our seeking licensure (over “registration”), unsuccessfully lobbied against our receiving insurance reimbursement, successfully lobbied against our using the word “diagnosis” instead of “classification” in our licensing act and successfully lobbied against our having hospital admitting privileges. The medical community is presently lobbying, and has lobbied in the past, against psychologists’ receiving prescriptive authority. Once we receive prescriptive authority, the medical community will come to accept our expanded scope of practice just as they have accepted the expanded scope of practice and prescriptive authority of optometrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals who have gained authority for practices that in earlier years had been the sole province of clinicians with medical degrees.

How is our legislative initiative for prescriptive authority similar to the legislative initiative of social workers and licensed professional counselors for authority to conduct psychological testing and authority to seek insurance reimbursement for independent practice?

Our legislative initiative for prescriptive authority is very similar to the legislative initiative of other healthcare providers who are pushing to expand their scopes of practice. Scope of practice is dynamic. The world is changing and nothing stands still.

Will members be informed of each step of the legislative process in Springfield, once an initiative, like RxP, has been thoroughly discussed and approved?

We entrust our legislative lobbyists, hired after careful due diligence by the IPA Executive Committee and IPA Council to help us pursue policy established by the IPA. Legislative meetings, hearings, and any other legislative action may or may not be announced publicly. The IPA leadership and the IPA lobbyists will make strategic decisions about appropriate times for public announcements. If individual IPA members disagree with IPA policy, they can take personal action as they so choose. The result of all legislative initiatives has been and will continue to be announced to the IPA membership in the various communication modalities described above.

IPA RxP Intiative FAQ Summary

In summary, the issue of prescription privileges has been discussed at open monthly Legislative Committee meetings as posted in the quarterly newsletter sent to all IPA members. The results of the Committee meetings are brought to Council for discussion and vote. Elected IPA officers then pursue Council objectives based upon the results of any votes. As far back as 1991 there have been discussions, motions, and votes to pursue prescription privileges in Illinois at Quarterly Council meetings, in quarterly newsletters and, since at least 2006, at every All- Association meeting. All IPA meetings are open to any IPA member and dates and times are posted in the newsletter. Given the track record of psychologists who have attained prescriptive authority in other states and/or through employment in Federal agencies or in the Federal government, liability and insurance rates have not been at all adversely affected. In 2011 and 2012 prescription privileges have, as voted for by Council, been pursued with funding outside of typical IPA revenue streams and as such have been funded, either by a grant from APA or in specific funds raised by IPA leadership by outside contributions specifically earmarked for this purpose. Once the legislative agenda has been approved by the IPA Council, the IPA legislative agenda will be pursued aggressively by the IPA and its lobbyists.

Beth N. Rom-Rymer, Ph.D.
IPA President

Bruce E. Bonecutter, Ph.D.
Past IPA President
Past IPA Representative to APA Council
IPA Parliamentarian

Terrence Koller, Ph.D., ABPP
Past IPA President
IPA Executive Director

Steven Rothke, Ph.D., ABPP
Past IPA President
Chair, IPA Consulting Section
Chair, IPA By-Laws Committee

And in consultation with the following IPA officers:

Armand Cerbone, Ph.D.
IPA Past President
IPA Representative to APA Council

Randy Georgemiller, Ph.D.
IPA Past President
IPA Representative to APA Council

Blaine Lesnik, Psy.D.
IPA Membership Chair

Patricia Pimental, Psy.D., ABPN
IPA Past President
Chair, IPA Legislative Committee

Bob Rinaldi, Ph.D.
Chair, IPA RxP Subcommittee

Greg Sarlo, Ph.D.
IPA Immediate Past President

Joseph Troiani, Ph.D.
IPA Treasurer