VPA is actively lobbying the Vermont legislature for passage of the pending legislation for prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists. Under the RxP bill pending, the only psychologists who would have authority to prescribe psychotropic medications are doctorate-level psychologists with a post-doctoral master's degree in psychopharmacology.
Contact your legislator and ask them to support RxP!
The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation takes the position that the training and education required by the RxP legislation is equal to or greater than that required for other prescribers, and that RxP does not present any public safety issues. In addition, prescribing psychologists would have to consult with either a primary care provider or psychiatrist before making any prescribing decisions.
TOTAL: 13 - 17 YEARS OF TRAINING
PLUS passage of national licensing exam
Certain restrictions apply to the proposed prescribing authority:
Even though the Vermont Medical Society and VAHHS have been vocal in their opposition to RxP, other groups support this important legislation, including the Vermont Association of Naturopathic Physicians and OPR. An out-of-state proponent has also weighed in on RxP with the Vermont legislature. You can see that letter below.
You can search for legislation, find your local legislators, and discover the status of pending bills at the website for the Vermont General Assembly.
VPA supports and advocates for current legislation giving prescriptive authority for doctorate-level psychologists with advanced post-doctoral training in clinical psychopharmacology.
VPA advocates for this legislation to increase access to qualified prescribers, increase the quality of care by placing medication prescription with the talk therapy provider, and reduce mental health care costs.
VPA advocates for issues related to increased sustainability of, and access to, mental health care in the rural areas of Vermont.
VPA supports and advocates for the establishment of more integrated care models. "Integrated care" is the systematic coordination of general and behavioral healthcare. Integrating mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple healthcare needs. You can read more about integrated care at the SAMHSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions website.
The Rural Health Care Task Force, of which Rick Barnett (VPA Legislative Committe Chair) is a member, has proposed to the House Health Care Committee that master's level psychologists and licensed mental health counselors be eligible for reimbursement under Medicare. This issue is in the state legislature because of the Medicare waiver Vermont has received.
The Task Force also recommended the passage of the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), which would facilitate telehealth across state lines.