DORA Smooths the Speed Bumps in Mental Health Licensing

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is complementing the important efforts by the State Innovation Model to improve access to mental health providers.  DORA's Division of Professions and Occupations is working to streamline the licensing process to more quickly release qualified mental health providers into the community and to minimize regulatory burden.  The Division houses 6 licensing and regulatory boards for mental health professionals including Addiction Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Registered Psychotherapists and Social Workers.  
"The number of licensed mental health providers in the state directly affects access to care and therefore health outcomes.  We are taking a fine-tooth comb to our licensing process to ensure processing times do not adversely impact patient safety," said Ronne Hines, Deputy Director for Healthcare in DORA's Division of Professions and Occupations.  
The Division's initiative focuses on three key components of the licensing process:
  1. Improved inter-state mobility through streamlined endorsement: The Division is seeking stakeholder input concerning endorsement rules at a meeting on November 30, 2015 from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Mental health providers, patients, family members, employers and other members of the public are encouraged to attend.

  2. Expedited education equivalency reviews: The Division is researching resources to speed reviews of education equivalency, a cumbersome set-back in the licensing process for international candidates.

  3. Enhanced resources and assistance for the state jurisprudence exam: The Division released new study materials for the jurisprudence exam.  The new study guide "Test Outline, Specifications and Resources" is available online.
Relevant Links

The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.