Great news for psychologists who want to practice across state lines: a growing number of states are opting to join the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), which, as we previously reported, allows psychologists to apply for expedited credentialing to use telehealth to treat patients in other states. PSYPACT needed seven states to join it in order to become operational, and Illinois was initially set to become that seventh state, had their law become effective sooner. However, as mHealth Intelligence first reported, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed connected care legislation in April that, among other provisions, made the state a part of PSYPACT, meaning that the compact is officially operational. Along with Georgia and Illinois, six other states (Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri) have also signed PSYPACT.
The compact is just the beginning of efforts to facilitate
interstate practice for psychologists. PSYPACT has the ability to foster
cooperation as well as standardize the requirements of psychology boards across
the member states. Just because these eight states have signed the compact,
however, does not mean psychologists can immediately apply for expedited
credentialing. The next step for these states is to appoint a representative to
a commission, which will then decide on bylaws and rules for the member states.
Intelligence explained, “Upon completion of these documents and
finalization of requirements for the ASPPB E.Passport Certificate (for
telepsychology) and Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate (for temporary
practice), the process will open for licensed psychologists to apply for/begin
using these certificates and practicing under the authority of PSYPACT.”
The eight PSYPACT member states are soon to be joined by a ninth, as Governor John Carney of Delaware is expected to sign H.B. 172. The bill has passed the state’s Senate, and (as mHealth Intelligence highlighted) is getting strong positive feedback “from mental health providers who face barriers in treating patients—particularly college students—from nearby states.” Delaware medical professionals, as well as others, are noticing that patients, with their extremely busy and fast-passed lifestyles, are becoming accustomed to using technology and love the convenience of telehealth. And that is why the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) and PSYPACT are important. They help to standardize and make more uniform the telehealth process, so everyone is on the same page and can benefit from its use.