CPA Legislative Advocacy
CPA’s Legislative Committee works in collaboration with a professional lobbyist to monitor issues that could potentially affect the practice of psychology, psychologists, and those populations served by our field. This includes grassroots lobbying as well as advocacy and intervention with regulatory and legislative issues affecting our profession. In addition, CPA’s Federal Advocacy Coordinator (FAC) works with the American Psychological Association to stay abreast of issues affecting our profession at the national level and relays significant developments to our members. Each year, CPA aims to send at least several of its leaders to the APA Practice Organization’s State Leadership Conference. We are proud of our record of attendance and participation at this conference each year and thank those members who have volunteered their time to be there.
2014 Legislative Agenda
In 2014, CPA's legislative committee will monitor issues related to practice, healthcare reform, and access to services. We strive to take a proactive stance on issues important to psychology and mental health. For more information on this year's legislative agenda and how you can become involved, please contact our Director of Professional Affairs, Dr. Traci Cipriano.
2014 Legislative Highlights
Continuing Education (CE’s) will be Required for Psychologists as of October 1, 2014. Psychologists will soon be required to meet yearly continuing education requirements, joining every other mental health professional in the state with this requirement, and nearly every other state in the nation. The law will go into effect on October 1, 2014.
Psychologists will soon be eligible to become Medicaid providers outside of the HUSKY system. Under a new law which goes into effect on July 1, 2014, psychologists and other mental health professionals will be able to participate in Medicaid as providers. This change in the law will take several months to fully implement. Before psychologists can officially accept Medicaid, the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) must apply for an amendment to state plan for Medicaid by October 1, 2014. Once this occurs, the ap plication will go to the state legislature, and then federal government, for approval. If all goes smoothly, and DSS does not ask for an extension of the October 2014 application deadline, the entire process should take approximately 6 months from the date (7/1/14) the law goes into effect, which would mean you would be able to begin accepting Medicaid by the end of 2014, or in early 2015.
Licensure Fees and Renewal Periods are being Reviewed by the State of Connecticut. A law which passed this legislative session authorizes the Department of Public Health and the Department of Consumer Protection to review all occupational licensure fees and renewal periods. CPA will meet with the relevant parties and provide input. One recommendation CPA has already provided, in testimony submitted during the legislative session, is to maintain the current licensure fee, but extend the licensure period to two years. Many other states have licensure periods which are 2 or 3 years.
CPA filed an amicus brief on the issue of reliability of eyewitness testimony, based on the scientific literature. The Connecticut Supreme Court decided to hear this case, along with two other eyewitness identification cases, one morning last December. CPA reached out to APA to ask if APA would be willing to file an amicus brief in one of the other cases (in which the prosecution devoted 10 pages to maligning psychological science). APA did file a brief, further highlighting the significant research literature. We are now awaiting the Connecticut Supreme Court's ruling. Legal experts tell us the fact that the Court chose to hear all 3 cases together suggests the Court is taking the issue seriously and considering making a change. We are also told the longer the Court takes to rule on the cases, the more likely the ruling will reflect a new legal standard for admissibility of eyewitness testimony. Stay tuned!
Reimbursement Issues: The legislative team is working on issues related to reimbursement on the CT Health Exchange, and plan to spend more time addressing these issues once the legislative session has ended.
Federal Legislation: The adoption of the new International Classification of Diseases revision 10 (ICD-10) coding system has been delayed from October 1, 2014 until Oct. 1, 2015. Information about the ICD-10 can be found at APAPO Practice Central.
2013 Legislative Highlights
Initiated a bill, which was ultimately passed, allowing psychologists and physicians to incorporate as business partners.
Provided testimony on several occasions in opposition to the adoption of duty to warn legislation similar to that passed in New York early in 2013.Collaborated with the Connecticut Legal Right’s project (CLRP) on drafting a proposed duty to protect statute (as requested of CLRP by Governor Malloy’s office). Presented this draft as well as other recommendations for improving mental health services in schools to Governor Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.