Exempts certain persons who administer and score objective psychological tests from provisions of law relating to the practice of the profession of psychology.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to exempt persons under the profession of psychology
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To allow testing technicians to administer and score standardized objective psychological or neuropsychological tests.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Amends Section 7605 of the education law by adding a new paragraph 10, which would allow testing technicians to administer and score standardized objective psychological or neuropsychological tests which involve specific predetermined and manualized procedures.
Section 2. Effective Date
Prior to enactment of the psychology scope of practice law (Chapter 676 of the Laws of 2002), testing technicians routinely and successfully administered and scored standardized objective psychological and neuropsychological tests. The legislative intent of the psychology scope of practice law was to not change the practice of psychology. In 2003, the State Education Department issued a letter interpreting the 2002 statute as excluding the use of testing technicians for administering and scoring neuropsychological tests, on the grounds that test administration and scoring was captured within the scope of practice of psychology. The proposed legislation would reverse the negative impact of the 2003 interpretive letter, which severely limited access to these critically needed services, particularly for ethnic minority patients and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
The legislation would require that testing technicians have a Bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field; be trained by a licensed psychologist in a non-school setting where the ratio of technician to licensed psychologist does not exceed 3:1; and also requires that technicians not provide opinions or interpret data.
The practice of employing non-doctoral level technicians for objective, standardized psychological and neuropsychological testing had been a standard practice in New York until the promulgation of the interpretative letter of 2003, is widespread nationally in the profession, and is supported by all professional organizations including the American Psychological Association (APA), the Neuropsychology Division of the APA, the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, the American. Board of Professional Neuropsychology, the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the International Neuropsychology Society. Additionally, current Medicare regulations allow for the use of testing technicians when diagnostic psychological testing is furnished under the supervision of a physician or clinical psychologist. This is represented by the CPT code 96119. The Veterans Administration continues to use testing technicians in neuropsychological practice throughout the country, including in New
York State. Although psychologists have been restricted from using testing technicians as a result of the interpretive letter in 2002, physicians have continued unrestricted use of testing technicians. This is an important division of labor in a psychologist's practice, which would allow the licensed psychologist to focus more directly on aspects of their practice which require the highest degree of training, clinical judgment and the ability to diagnose and treat individuals in their practices. Moreover, use of technicians is a cost efficient means of providing this clinical service which is particularly important in the midst of healthcare reform.
The time has come to revise New York's laws to more accurately reflect current and common practices in the field of neuropsychology.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4176--B 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 13, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. VALESKY, AVELLA, ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Higher Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to exempt persons under the profession of psychology THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 7605 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 11 to read as follows: 11. THE CONDUCT, ACTIVITIES OR SERVICES OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO ADMINISTER AND SCORE STANDARDIZED OBJECTIVE (NON-PROJECTIVE) PSYCHOLOGICAL OR NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS WHICH HAVE SPECIFIC PREDETERMINED AND MANUAL- IZED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES WHICH ENTAIL OBSERVING AND DESCRIBING TEST BEHAVIOR AND TEST RESPONSES, AND WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE EVALUATION, INTERPRETATION OR OTHER JUDGMENTS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH INDIVID- UAL SHALL: (I) HOLD NO LESS THAN A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY OR A RELATED FIELD; (II) UNDERGO A PROCESS OF TRAINING BY A LICENSED PSYCHOL- OGIST, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO A MINIMUM OF EIGHTY HOURS OF STUDYING AND MASTERING INFORMATION FROM TEST MANUALS, DIRECT OBSERVATION OF A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST OR TRAINED TECHNICIAN ADMINISTER- ING AND SCORING TESTS, ADMINISTERING AND SCORING TESTS IN THE PRESENCE OF A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST OR TRAINED TECHNICIAN, AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS; (III) BE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST IN A NON-SCHOOL SETTING IN NO GREATER THAN A 3AGING RATIO OR THE PART TIME EQUIVALENT THERETO; AND (IV) NOT SELECT TESTS, ANALYZE PATIENT DATA OR COMMUNICATE RESULTS TO PATIENTS. THE SUPERVISING LICENSED PSYCHOL- OGIST MUST SUBMIT, PURSUANT TO A FORM TO BE PRESCRIBED AND DEVELOPEDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09826-05-4 S. 4176--B 2
WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION BY THE DEPARTMENT, A SWORN STATEMENT DETAILING COMPLIANCE WITH THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS. THE LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST'S USE OF SUCH INDIVIDUAL PURSU- ANT TO THE TERMS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE FULL DISCI- PLINARY AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPART- MENT PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.