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An Update on OPA’s continued fight to maintain an independent psychology board in Ohio

Monday, May 22, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Golden, PhD, 2017 LDA Fellow
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The Governor’s Budget Bill, HB 49, previously included a provision for the elimination of the State Board of Psychology through consolidation of a number of behavioral mental health boards. Fortunately, and in large part to significant advocacy efforts by OPA and psychologists and other behavioral health professionals across the state, the House Finance Committee eliminated this provision in an amended version of the bill (Substitute HB49). However, this amended version must still pass the Senate and be signed by the governor.

The Ohio Psychological Association continues to oppose board consolidation in general and specifically the elimination of the State Board of Psychology.
Since the 1980s, multiple states have considered consolidating their psychology licensing board with other mental health licensing boards, to create one large omnibus board. Currently, Kansas is the only state within the US with a consolidated licensing board. Two states which previously converted to omnibus licensing boards subsequently reestablished independent psychology boards (e.g., Colorado in 1998, New Hampshire in 2012). 

Cost savings and administrative efficiency are the common arguments for consolidation. However, these arguments do not hold water in Ohio.

  • Mental health boards in Ohio are self-sufficient with licensing fees fully funding the cost of each board.
  • An omnibus structure would combine different disciplines with different levels of training and different scopes of practice, to oversee ALL behavioral mental health providers in the state leading to greater administrative inefficiencies.
    • The previously proposed board structure would have included only one psychologist and one school psychologist along with six other behavioral health professionals and one public member -- tasked with overseeing 18 different state licenses and over 47,000 licensees across the state!
    • This combined board would undoubtedly lead to delays and inefficiencies in managing complaints and protecting the public given the heavy burden on a very small number of representatives.
    • Lastly, psychologists are doctoral-level licensed mental health professionals. Evidence from New Hampshire indicates that a consolidated board led to inappropriate investigation of some psychologists by omnibus board members who did not have the education or expertise to investigate doctoral-level psychologists and our full scope of practice. 

Protect both the public and our profession – keep the State Board of Psychology in Ohio independent and oppose board consolidation.

 

Comments...

Kathleen R. Ashton PhD ABPP says...
Posted Monday, May 22, 2017
Thanks for this update! I'm glad it seems to have stopped for now but we need to keep this on our radar.