Prescribing Psychologists

The RxP Difference: Answering the Crisis in Mental Health Care

Bottle with Pills in Lid

The Issue: Funding struggles and cuts, doctor shortages, and inadequate care options have created a very real, very dangerous mental health care crisis in Illinois.

• With resources stretched to the limit, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are in short supply and the demand far exceeds the capabilities of the existing network. Mental health hospitals and community centers are in dire straits, as state funding has dropped dramatically.

• More than 50 Illinois counties have no inpatient psychiatric services in their hospitals. Another 24 counties have no hospitals at all. Yet, 614,000 Illinoisans need treatment right now for serious mental illness. The unmet need is greatest with people who need help the most: low-income, rural, and minority populations whose needs are often underserved.

• As more people have been placed on Medicaid as a result of federal health care reform and states continue to struggle to cover the cost of Medicaid, the problem will only worsen.

• The pain is widespread and growing. When people do not receive the mental health care they need, they end up in hospitals or jails – driving up those costs dramatically and further crunching our tax dollars.

• Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his jail has become the state’s largest mental health care provider. Yet, for people with serious mental illness who need appropriate psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic care, the County jail cannot meet their needs.

There is a better way. RxP provides a meaningful answer to this problem by demonstrating that comprehensive care can be provided by psychologists. Giving prescriptive authority to specialty trained and experienced psychologists will help the mentally ill live better lives; will save money for the public municipalities; and will make our communities safer, since the mentally ill, who are treated, will be less likely to engage in criminal behaviors.

How It Works: The RxP Difference puts in place a much-needed safety net by:

• Improving access to care and allowing freedom of choice for Illinoisans who are stymied by mental health challenges

• Promoting effective, comprehensive, timely patient treatment

• Easing the enormous pressure on the system with licensed, superbly trained psychologists who do collaborative work with their patients

Why It Works: The RxP Difference does not replace the good work done by psychiatrists and hospitals and community centers. It builds on that foundation and takes Illinois’ mental health care to the next level.

• Prescribing psychologists work collaboratively with their patients as well as with all of the other healthcare providers in the community. Prescribing psychologists understand the importance of conducting a thorough review of a patient’s history and symptom presentation. If they determine that a medication may be appropriate for treatment, they will prescribe that medication but often recommend a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. More people are able to get the care they need. With mental illness disproportionately affecting Medicaid patients, physicians and hospitals desperately need the help. Prescribing psychologists are the answer.

• The RxP Difference has been an unequivocal success in New Mexico and Louisiana where psychologists are prescribing, and now in Illinois. Overwhelmingly, primary care physicians report work with prescribing psychologists to be of great benefit to them. Civilian psychologists have written hundreds of thousands of prescriptions since 2005 with only 2 lawsuits ending in an indemnity payment.

Prescribing psychologists are dedicated to the highest professional standards. They spend four times as many didactic hours on the study of clinical psychopharmacology than primary care physicians. In many states, psychologists, who have specialized in clinical psychopharmacology, train family practice medical residents. The prescriptive authority of psychologists is limited to the medications that treat mental illnesses and behavioral disorders. The history of prescribing psychologists is that they prescribe 60 – 70% fewer medications than other health prescribers. Moreover, they are more likely than other health prescribers to “unprescribe” medications because they are aware of behavioral therapeutic strategies that can be more effective than medications, thus reducing side effect complications.

The mental health care crisis impact is staggering: 60 million people nationwide with a diagnosable mental disorder each year and estimated annual economic costs of more than $315 billion.

The RxP Difference responds to the call for help by providing timely, effective, and comprehensive treatment that gives people greater opportunity for recovery and hope.

Governor Pat Quinn (D) Signed Into Law Historic Bill, Sponsored by the Illinois Psychological Association

Prescriptive Authority Given to Licensed Clinical Psychologists

PRESS RELEASE (Archived from 2014)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Beth N. Rom-Rymer, PhD, President, Illinois Psychological Association
docbnrr@gmail.com
cell: 312-961-1735

Terrence Koller, PhD, Executive Director, Illinois Psychological Association
ipaexec@aol.com
office: 312-372-7610 x202

Chicago, Illinois (June 25, 2014) Today, at 3:30 pm, Governor Pat Quinn (D) has signed into law the historic bill, sponsored by the Illinois Psychological Association, that gives prescriptive authority to licensed clinical psychologists, with advanced, specialized training, to prescribe certain medications for the treatment of mental health disorders. Illinois has now become the third state in the country, after New Mexico and Louisiana, to give prescriptive authority to licensed clinical psychologists with this specialized training. Introduced by Senator Don Harmon (D), President Pro Tem of the Illinois Senate, Senator Dave Syverson (R), Representative John E. Bradley (D), and Representative Raymond Poe (R).

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IPA Council of Representatives and Staff

STAFF
Executive Director
Marsha Karey
Contact

Director of Professional Affairs
Susan O’Grady, PsyD
Contact

Legislative Liaison
Terry Koller, PhD, ABPP
Contact

IPA COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES (2022-2023)

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

President
Derek Phillips, PsyD, MSCP, ABMP (2022-2023)

President-Elect
Colin Ennis, PsyD (2022-2023)

Past President
Abigail Brown, PsyD (2022-2023)

Secretary
Margo Jacquot, PsyD (2021-2024)

Treasurer
Theresa Schultz, PhD, MBA (2022-2025)

Representative to APA Council
Laura Faynor-Ciha, PhD (2021-2023)

SECTION CHAIRS

Academic Section
Susan Zoline, PhD (2019-2023)

Behavioral Medicine & Neuropsychology Section
Meghan Kennedy, PsyD (2022-2024)

Clinical Practice Section
Sue Bae, PhD (2021-2023)

Early Career Psychologist Section
Laura Pappa, PhD (2021-2023)

Graduate Student Section (IPAGS)
Daniel Polonsky, MA (2022-2023)

Military Psychology Section
Andrea Graves, PsyD (2022-2024)

Organizational & Business Consulting Section
Lisa Page, PsyD (2020-2023)

Section on Ethnic Minority Affairs
Erin Alexander, PsyD (2019-2023)

Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity Section
Hayley Van Serke, PsyD (2021-2023)

Social Responsibility Section
Holly Houston, PhD (2021-2023)

Women’s Issues Section
Kimberly Baker, PsyD (2021-2024)

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES

Metropolitan Region
Lynda Behrendt, PsyD, RN (2020-2024)

Patricia Pimental, PsyD, ABN (2019-2023)

Jessica Punzo, PsyD (2022-2024)

North Region
Brandi Boan, PsyD, MSCP (2022-2024)

North Central Region
Blair Brown, PsyD (2021-2023)

South Central Region
Keith Buescher, PhD (2019-2023)

South Region
Jeffrey Kellogg, PsyD (2020-2024)

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Bylaws and Rules
Steven Rothke, PhD, ABPP

Communications
Fahad Khan, PsyD & Derek Phillips, PsyD, MSCP, ABMP

Continuing Education
Susan O’Grady, PsyD

Convention
Derek Phillips, PsyD, MSCP, ABMP

Election
Sara Rusk, PsyD

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Task Force
Abigail Brown, PsyD

Ethics
Abigail Sivan, PhD & Susan Zoline, PhD

Finance
Theresa Schultz, PhD, MBA

Healthcare Reimbursement
Lynda Behrendt, PsyD, RN

Leadership Development Program
Laura Faynor-Ciha, PhD

Legislative
Kristina Pecora, PsyD & Gregory Sarlo, PsyD

Membership
Andrea Seefeldt, PsyD

Newsletter: Illinois Psychologist
Terrence Koller, PhD, ABPP

LIAISON AND OTHER IPA POSITIONS

APA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs
Erin Alexander, PsyD

APA Federal Advocacy Coordinator
Kristina Pecora, PsyD

APA Committee on Rural Health
Jeffrey Kellogg, PsyD

APA Committee on Women in Psychology
Kimberly Baker, PsyD

Liaison to IPA Psychology Internship Consortium Board
Gregory Sarlo, PsyD

Liaison from the Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Board
Blaine Lesnik, PsyD

Parliamentarian
Vacant

American Psychological Association
Recommended Postdoctoral Education and Training Program In
Psychopharmacology for Prescriptive Authority

Education and training in psychopharmacology for prescriptive authority has evolved rapidly over the past two decades. As of the writing of this document, there were approximately 10 programs in a range of educational contexts offering this training on a postdoctoral basis. As more states pass laws authorizing properly trained psychologists to prescribe it will continue to be necessary to define what is meant by “properly trained psychologists.” Psychology’s ethical responsibility to the public requires that the profession be able to define the training needs and minimum competencies required for prescriptive authority. This document reflects the most current thinking in the field as to the nature of such education and training. It incorporates knowledge and experience derived since the 1996 version of this document, Recommended Postdoctoral Training in Psychopharmacology for Prescription Privileges, became APA policy.

In accordance with Association Rule 30-8.3 requiring that all APA standards and guidelines be reviewed at least every 10 years, and in light of the advances that have been made in prescriptive authority education and training and legislation enacted since the document APA Recommended Postdoctoral Training in Psychopharmacology for Prescription Privileges (1996 Recommended Training) was approved in 1996,1 the Council of Representatives authorized a joint BEA-CAPP Task Force in February 2006 to review the current program requirements and recommend any necessary updates and revisions.

When the original model program standards were developed over a decade ago, few programs existed and no state legislation, enabling psychologists to prescribe, had been enacted. Since then, a number of new programs have developed operating under varying education and training models, and enabling legislation has been passed in two states and one U.S. territory (with legislation pending or planned in several others). These developments clearly called for revisions of the existing policy.

Download the full document in the attached pdf.

Bill Status of HB3074 98th General Assembly

PRESCRIBING PSYCHOLOGIST CERT

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act. Provides that the Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Board shall grant certification as prescribing psychologists to doctoral level psychologists licensed under the Act. Provides application requirements for certification as a prescribing psychologist. Provides that the Board shall establish a method for the renewal every 2 years of prescribing psychologist certificates. Provides procedures for safety and record keeping. Provides that when a psychologist is authorized to prescribe controlled substances, a prescribing psychologist shall file, in a timely manner, any individual Drug Enforcement Agency registrations and identification numbers with the Board. Requires certain communication between the Board and the State Board of Pharmacy. Provides requirements for licensure by endorsement. Defines related terms. Amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Includes prescribing psychologist in the definition of "prescriber".

Learn more and track the bill’s progress here.

Bill Status of SB2187 98th General Assembly

PRESCRIBING PSYCHOLOGIST CERT

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act. Provides that the Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Board shall grant certification as prescribing psychologists to doctoral level psychologists licensed under the Act. Provides application requirements for certification as a prescribing psychologist. Provides that the Board shall establish a method for the renewal every 2 years of prescribing psychologist certificates. Provides procedures for safety and record keeping. Provides that when a psychologist is authorized to prescribe controlled substances, a prescribing psychologist shall file, in a timely manner, any individual Drug Enforcement Agency registrations and identification numbers with the Board. Requires certain communication between the Board and the State Board of Pharmacy. Provides requirements for licensure by endorsement. Defines related terms. Amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Includes prescribing psychologist in the definition of "prescriber".

Learn more and follow the bill’s progress here.

Managing Stress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. There may never be satisfactory answers to these questions. As a parent, you may be struggling with how to talk with your children about a shooting rampage. It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what age your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults.

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Let Your Legislator Know

You Support Prescribing Psychologists

Indicate your support for licensing specialty trained psychologists to prescribe medications, where appropriate, by filling out the form below. We will be using your name, on a list of our supporters, to be presented to Illinois lawmakers. We will not use your information, in any other modality, unless you indicate, in the comments section, that you would like us to contact you about other ways in which you can support this legislative initiative. By filling out the form, you will be indicating your support for the statement below:

Funding cuts, doctor shortages, and other inadequate care options have created a very real, very dangerous mental health care crisis in Illinois. Giving prescriptive authority to psychologists, who elect to complete extensive additional training and clinical work, beyond the traditional doctoral degree, internships, and fellowships, will provide a meaningful answer to this problem. Allowing comprehensive care by psychologists can help solve the current healthcare crisis.

The work of the prescribing psychologist would not supersede the good work done by psychiatrists, hospital medical and social service staff, primary care physicians, and community center staff. Instead, the prescribing psychologist becomes a vital member of the healthcare community who can buttress existing services as well as serve populations who are currently underserved.”