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HB 420: "An Act relating to psychologists and psychological associates."

00 HOUSE BILL NO. 420                                                                                                      
01 "An Act relating to psychologists and psychological associates."                                                        
02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
03    * Section 1.  AS 08.86 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
04  Sec. 08.86.075.  POWER TO ORDER EXAMINATIONS.  The board may                                                          
05 order a licensed psychologist or licensed psychological associate to submit to a                                        
06 reasonable physical or mental examination if the board has credible evidence sufficient                                 
07 to conclude that the psychologist's or psychological associate's physical or mental                                     
08 capacity to practice safely is at issue.                                                                                
09    * Sec. 2.  AS 08.86.130(a) is amended to read:                                                                       
10  (a)  The board shall issue a license to a person who                                                                  
11   (1)  holds an earned doctorate degree, from an academic institution                                                  
12 whose program of graduate study for a doctorate degree in psychology meets the                                          
13 criteria established by the board by regulation, in                                                                     
14   (A)  clinical psychology;                                                                                         
01   (B)  counseling [EDUCATIONAL] psychology; or                                                                    
02   (C)  education in a [WITH THE] field of specialization [IN                                                        
03 COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY OR EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY; OR                                                                     
04   (D)  A SUBJECT] considered equivalent by the board;                                                                 
05   (2)  has not engaged in dishonorable conduct related to the practice                                                
06 of counseling or psychometry;                                                                                           
07   (3)  has one year of post doctoral supervised experience approved by                                              
08 the board; and                                                                                                          
09   (4) [(3)]  takes and passes the objective examination developed or                                                 
10 approved by the board.                                                                                                  
11    * Sec. 3.  AS 08.86.135 is amended to read:                                                                          
12  Sec. 08.86.135.  TEMPORARY LICENSE.  The board may issue a temporary                                                  
13 license to a person who meets the requirements of AS 08.86.130(a)(1) and (2).  A                                        
14 temporary license issued under this section is valid only for the time period                                          
15 identified in the person's plan for the purpose of obtaining supervised experience                                      
16 to meet the requirements of AS 08.86.130(a)(3) [UNTIL THE RESULTS OF THE                                               
17 EXAMINATION FOLLOWING THE ISSUANCE OF THE TEMPORARY LICENSE                                                             
18 ARE PUBLISHED].                                                                                                         
19    * Sec. 4.  AS 08.86.160 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                           
20  Sec. 08.86.160.  LICENSING REQUIREMENTS.  (a)  The board shall issue                                                  
21 a license to a person who                                                                                               
22   (1)  holds an earned master's degree from an academic institution whose                                              
23 program of graduate study for a master's degree in psychology meets the criteria                                        
24 established by the board by regulation in                                                                               
25   (A)  clinical psychology;                                                                                           
26   (B)  counseling psychology; or                                                                                      
27   (C)  education in a field of specialization considered equivalent                                                   
28 by the board;                                                                                                           
29   (2)  has not engaged in dishonorable conduct related to the practice of                                              
30 counseling or psychometry;                                                                                              
31   (3)  has two years of post master's supervised experience approved by                                                
01 the board; and                                                                                                          
02   (4)  takes and passes the objective examination developed or approved                                                
03 by the board for psychological associates.                                                                              
04  (b)  The board may not deny recognition as an accredited or approved academic                                         
05 institution to an educational institution solely because its program has not been                                       
06 accredited by a professional organization of psychologists.                                                             
07    * Sec. 5.  AS 08.86.164(a) is amended to read:                                                                       
08  (a)  A psychological associate shall be licensed for specific activities or areas                                     
09 of competence as determined by the nature and extent of the psychological associate's                                   
10 training and experience [, AND THOSE AREAS SHALL BE SPECIFIED ON THE                                                    
11 LICENSE].                                                                                                               
12    * Sec. 6.  AS 08.86 is amended by adding a new section to article 4 to read:                                         
13  Sec. 08.86.166.  TEMPORARY LICENSE.  The board may issue a temporary                                                  
14 license to a person who meets the requirements of AS 08.86.160(a)(1) and (2).  A                                        
15 temporary license issued under this section is valid only for the time period identified                                
16 in the person's plan for the purpose of obtaining supervised experience to meet the                                     
17 requirement of AS 08.86.160(a)(3).                                                                                      
18    * Sec. 7.  AS 08.86.200(a) is amended to read:                                                                       
19  (a)  A psychologist or psychological associate may not reveal to another person                                       
20 a communication made to the psychologist or psychological associate by a client about                                   
21 a matter concerning which the client has employed the psychologist or psychological                                     
22 associate in a professional capacity.  This section does not apply to                                                   
23   (1)  a case conference with other mental health professionals                                                      
24 [PSYCHOLOGISTS, PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATES,] or with physicians and                                                       
25 surgeons;                                                                                                               
26   (2)  a case in which the client in writing authorized the psychologist or                                            
27 psychological associate to reveal a communication;                                                                      
28   (3)  a case where an immediate threat of serious physical harm to an                                                 
29 identifiable victim is communicated to a psychologist or psychological associate by a                                   
30 client;                                                                                                                 
31   (4)  disclosures of confidential communications required under Rule 504,                                             
01 Alaska Rules of Evidence; or                                                                                            
02   (5)  proceedings conducted by the board or the department where the                                                  
03 disclosure of confidential communications is necessary to defend against charges that                                   
04 the psychologist or psychological associate has violated provisions of this chapter;                                   
05 information obtained by the board or department under this paragraph is                                                 
06 confidential and is not a public record for purposes of AS 09.25.110 - 09.25.140.                                      
07    * Sec. 8.  AS 08.86.204 is amended to read:                                                                          
08  Sec. 08.86.204.  GROUNDS FOR IMPOSITION OF DISCIPLINARY                                                               
09 SANCTIONS.  After a hearing, the board may impose a disciplinary sanction on a                                          
10 person licensed under this chapter when the board finds that the licensee                                               
11   (1)  secured a license through deceit, fraud, or intentional                                                         
12 misrepresentation;                                                                                                      
13   (2)  engaged in deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation in the                                               
14 course of providing professional services or engaging in professional activities;                                       
15   (3)  advertised professional services in a false or misleading manner;                                               
16   (4)  has been convicted of a felony or other crime that [WHICH] affects                                            
17 the licensee's ability to continue to practice competently and safely;                                                  
18   (5)  intentionally or negligently engaged in or permitted the performance                                            
19 of patient care by persons under the licensee's supervision that [WHICH] does not                                     
20 conform to minimum professional standards regardless of whether actual injury to the                                    
21 patient occurred;                                                                                                       
22   (6)  failed to comply with this chapter, with a regulation adopted under                                             
23 this chapter, or with an order of the board;                                                                            
24   (7)  continued to practice after becoming unfit due to                                                               
25   (A)  professional incompetence;                                                                                     
26   (B)  failure to keep informed of current professional practices;                                                    
27   (C)  addiction or severe dependency on alcohol or other drugs                                                       
28 which impairs the ability to practice safely;                                                                           
29   (D)  physical or mental disability or a combination of physical                                                    
30 and mental disabilities;                                                                                               
31   (8)  engaged in sexual misconduct with a  patient during the course                                                 
01 of therapy, either within or outside the treatment setting, or within two years                                         
02 after therapy or counseling with the patient has terminated; in this paragraph,                                         
03 "sexual misconduct" includes sexual contact, as defined in regulations adopted                                          
04 under this chapter, or attempted sexual contact, regardless of the patient's or                                         
05 former patient's consent or lack of consent [LEWD OR IMMORAL CONDUCT IN                                                
06 CONNECTION WITH THE DELIVERY OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICE TO                                                                 
07 PATIENTS].                                                                                                              
08    * Sec. 9.  AS 08.86.204 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
09  (b)  The board may summarily suspend the license of a licensee who refuses                                            
10 to submit to a physical or mental examination under AS 08.86.075.  A person whose                                       
11 license is suspended under this subsection is entitled to a hearing by the board within                                 
12 seven days after the effective date of the order.  If, after a hearing, the board upholds                               
13 the suspension, the licensee may appeal the suspension to a court of competent                                          
14 jurisdiction.                                                                                                           
15    * Sec. 10.  AS 08.86.230(4) is amended to read:                                                                      
16   (4)  "psychological associate" means a person licensed under this                                                    
17 chapter who renders specific psychological services [IN ASSOCIATION WITH A                                              
18 LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST] and complies with AS 08.86.164;                                                                  
19    * Sec. 11.  AS 08.86.162(3), 08.86.164(b), 08.86.164(c), 08.86.164(d), and 08.86.164(e) are                          
20 repealed.