Bill to Increase Access to Psychology Services Earns Committee Approval

HARRISBURG – A bill that would expand access to psychology services was approved this week by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, according to Senator Judy Ward (R-30).

Each state has its own set of laws governing the practice of psychology, making it extremely difficult for a psychologist to obtain a license to practice in several states. As a result, it can be difficult for psychologists to become licensed in other states and serve patients across jurisdictional boundaries.

To deal with these issues, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards has developed the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) to allow telepsychological practice across state lines as well as temporary in-person services. Senate Bill 67 would allow Pennsylvania to join PSYPACT to improve patient access to services.

“For rural districts like the one I represent, access to psychological services is extremely limited, which negatively impacts the mental health of countless state residents,” Ward said. “Joining this multi-state compact will help us use all of the technology and resources at our disposal to ensure patients can be connected with the mental health services they need.”

To date, 10 states have adopted the Compact.  The Compact Commission will develop and publish bylaws and rules before licensed psychologists can apply for and use compact certificates to practice in compact states.

Senate Bill 67 was sent to the full Senate for consideration.

CONTACT:  Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490

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