- Important Information on ESA Recommendations
- HB22-1299 License Registration Fee Relief
- Proposed Rules
- Mental/Behavioral Health Parity Information
- Revised Rules Effective May 30, 2021
- 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
The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) Commission has published Proposed Rules for consideration and comment. These Proposed Rules are open for a period of 60 days for public comment for those stakeholders interested in providing such comment. The deadline for submission of written comments is November 4, 2021.
Written comments should be submitted via the public comment form found on the PSYPACT website and submitted to the PSYPACT Commission no later than 5:00 pm Eastern on November 4, 2021.
A public hearing will be conducted as part of the PSYPACT Commission’s Annual Meeting via Zoom on November 18, 2021 beginning at 10:00 am Eastern. Interested parties may participate and notification will be posted to the PSYPACT website 30 days prior to the meeting with call-in information provided.
Revised Rules Effective May 30, 2021
Revised rules for the State Board of Psychologist Examiners went into effect on May 30, 2021. The revisions to Rule 1.6 implemented Colorado House Bill 19-1129; and revisions to Rules 1.12, 1.22, and Appendix A, corrected language in the rules that conflicted with portions of the statutes in Colorado House Bill 20-1326 and Colorado Senate Bill 20-102 (sections 12-20-202(3) and 12-30-115, C.R.S.).
To view the details of this rulemaking project and track all rule changes, see Tracking Number 2021-00140. The Board encourages all licensees and stakeholders to read the revised and published Rules 1.6, 1.12, 1.22 and Appendix A. Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Division Convenes Work Group to Study Disciplinary Records Retention in the Mental Health Professions
Pursuant to House Bill 20-1206 (HB-1206) “Sunset Mental Health Professionals”, the Division of Professions and Occupations (Division) has convened the Mental Health Records Retention Workgroup, to study, take public comment on, and make recommendations with respect to how the Division handles and uses certain disciplinary records in its licensing decisions, and how & when those records are made public.
The Work Group will meet several times throughout the fall and winter of 2020, with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) facilitating, and will make its final recommendations to the General Assembly, Governor, and the Division by January 1, 2021.
The following individuals have been appointed to be Voting Members of the Work Group:
- Ronne Hines, Director, Division of Professions and Occupations
- Senator Brittany Pettersen (D-22)
- Sen. Cheri Jahn (Ret.)
- Felicidad Fraser-Solak
- Brian Gonzales
- Angela Green
- Terri Hurst
- Mita Johnson
- Tim Ranney
- Ana Vizoso
The Work Group is currently scheduled to meet on the following dates, with additional meeting dates added as necessary:
- September 17, 2020, from Noon to 2:30 p.m., Agenda, Presentation
- October 19, 2020, from 2-5 p.m., Agenda, Presentation
- The work group will meet as subcommittees, November 5, 2020, from Noon to 3:00 p.m., Agenda
- November 19, 2020, from 1-4 p.m., Agenda
- December 10, 2020 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.. Agenda
As part of the Division's outreach efforts to the public, the Division hosted a townhall meeting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 11:00 a.m - noon, to gather comments from interested members of the public. The recording of the townhall may be accessed here.
The Division will host an additional townhall meeting on Thursday, November 12, from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m., to gather comments from interested members of the public. Please click here to register for the townhall - registration is required to attend.
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.