- Important Information on ESA Recommendations
- HB22-1299 License Registration Fee Relief
- Mental/Behavioral Health Parity Information
- Revised Rules Effective April 30, 2021
- New LPC Rules in Effect
- HB20-1206, Concerning the Continuation of Regulation of Mental Health Professionals
- Records Retention Workgroup to Meet
- New Disclosure Required
Emotional Support Animal Recommendations Require Bonafide Provider-Patient Relationship
A bonafide provider-patient relationship should exist between a licensed healthcare professional and an individual seeking an emotional support animal (ESA) for therapeutic benefit prior to the issuance of a recommendation letter in Colorado. This bonafide provider-patient relationship is defined in the mental health, medical and nursing practice acts.
Healthcare professionals must first establish whether a disability exists and if found, determine whether there is sufficient information for a recommednation for an ESA to provide a therapeutic benefit for that disability. In order to make such determinations, licensees must be both sufficiently familiar with the patient and the patient’s disability; and legally and professionally qualified to make this determination.
Nursing and mental health law (Section 12-255-133(3)(a) and 12-245-229(3)(a) Colorado Revised Statutes) further clarifies that “a licensee shall not make a determination … unless the licensee has met with the patient in person.” Registered nurses are permitted to issue ESA recommendations but must be under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.
Physicians shouldn’t make a determination unless having “met with the person or by telemedicine,” according to 12-240-144(3)(a), C.R.S.
Healthcare practitioners under the purview of Division of Professions and Occupations must follow all applicable laws for those seeking an assistance animal.
An ESA is an animal that provides a therapeutic benefit, such as emotional support, comfort, or companionship, to a person with a mental health or psychiatric disability. An ESA is not considered a Service Animal and ESA users don’t receive the same accommodations as service dog users.
ESAs don’t perform specific tasks related to the person’s disability, instead, it is the presence of the animal that relieves the symptoms associated with the serious mental health condition. This condition is documented by a properly formatted prescription letter.
HB22-1299 License Registration Fee Relief for Mental Health Professionals
Revised Rules Effective April 30, 2021
A revised rule for the State Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners went into effect on April 30, 2021. The revisions to Rule 1.6(A), implement Colorado House Bill 19-1129 (Prohibit mental health care providers from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under eighteen years of age).
To view the details of this rulemaking project and track all rule changes, see Tracking Number 2021-00062. The Board encourages all licensees and stakeholders to read the published revised Rule 1.6(a). Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners
The new and revised rules for the State Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners went into effect on November 14, 2020, to implement Colorado House Hill 20-1206, House Bill 20-1326, and Senate Bill 20-102. These Bills concern the following:
- Colorado House Bill 20-1206: The continuation of the regulation of mental health professionals, and, in connection therewith, implementing recommendations contained in the 2019 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies);
- Colorado House Bill 20-1326: Expansion of an individual's ability to practice an occupation in Colorado through creation of an occupational credential portability program); and
- Colorado Senate Bill 20-102: Required disclosures to patients regarding formal actions based on sexual misconduct).
To view the details of this rulemaking project and track all changes to the Rules, follow Tracking Number 2020-00595. The Board encourages all licensees and stakeholders to read the final, published new and revised Rules. Please direct any questions to email@example.com
HB20-1206, Concerning the Continuation of Regulation of Mental Health Professionals
The Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO), within the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has been provided the authority by the Colorado State Legislature to create the Mental Health Disciplinary Record Work Group. The Work Group will examine the state’s rules and policies with regard to the retention and use of certain kinds of disciplinary records as it relates to licensing of mental health professionals in the state. The Work Group, created by House Bill 20-1206, will meet throughout the Fall and Winter of 2020, and will make recommendations to the Governor, the Executive Director of DORA and the health committees in the House and Senate about any potential changes the Work Group identifies.
New Disclosure Required
On May 14, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 19-1174 Out of Network Healthcare Services. The bill includes provisions for how health insurance carriers will reimburse providers (doctors, hospitals and other health care providers) for out-of-network emergency and non-emergency care. The new law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and also requires healthcare providers to develop and provide consumer disclosures about the potential effects of receiving emergency or non-emergency services from an out-of-network provider, and the possibility of “surprise billing.” As part of the implementation of House Bill 19-1174 Out-of-network Surprise Billing, the Division of Professions and Occupations is providing a sample disclosure form. Please feel free to use your own form if you prefer.