CO Prescribing Psychology (RxP)

Dear CPA Community,

My name is Jin Lee, and I’m the chair of prescribing psychology (RxP) Task Force.

Prescriptive authority is granted for licensed psychologists with advanced training in clinical psychopharmacology, and five states have passed legislation allowing for this expansion in psychology practice. Many other states are in process of pursuing similar legislation. 

Some psychologists may not be as familiar with RxP as others, so we created FAQ (please see below or attached?) to answer some questions you may have.

The goal of RxP Task Force within CPA is to work with the community and allow psychologists with this advanced training to help fill the critical gap of unmet mental health needs within our community.

If you would like to learn more about RxP or join the Task Force, please contact me at [email protected].

Thank you!

 


CO RxP Survey Results

 

Posted: January 25, 2021

 

Thank you very much for many of you who completed the CO prescribing psychology (CO RxP) survey. I am very excited to share the positive results from the survey, and if you would like to join the CO RxP Taskforce, please contact me directly at [email protected]
    
 

FAQ's

 

1. What is a Prescribing Psychologist (RxP)?

  • A licensed psychologist who has received advanced training and has a licensure to prescribe psychotropic medication. This licensed psychologist is able to operate independently (does not require supervision to practice)
Fun Fact: APA has recognized RxP as a Specialty & the APA Division 55 Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology is in process of pursuing an ABPP board certification.
 
 

2. What is this advanced training?

  • 2-year Postdoctoral Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) AND
  • Pass a National board exam – Psychopharmacology Exam for Psychologists (PEP) AND
  • 6 months - 3 years of physician supervised Practicum depending on the state
E.g., in New Mexico, psychologists will see at least 100 diverse patients and spend a minimum of 400-hour related to prescribing psychotropic medications.

  

3. Do any states currently allow RxP?

  • As of 2020, five states passed the RxP legislation:

i. New Mexico (2002)
ii. Louisiana (2004)

iii. Illinois (2014)
iv. Iowa (2016)
v. Idaho (2017)

Fun Fact: the following federal agencies permit prescribing psychologists:
vi. Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force)
vii. US Public Health Service Corps
viii. Indian Health Services
 

4. Is this safe?

  • YES! Psychologists have been prescribing safely for nearly 30 years.
  • Department of Defense began RxP in 1991, and there have been no reported instances of inappropriate or harmful prescribing by RxPs.

 

5. Do I have to prescribe psychotropic medication if RxP is passed in Colorado?

  • No! Prescribing psychology is one of many subspecialties within psychology, such as neuropsychology, forensic psychology, child psychology, health psychology AND you cannot become a RxP without additional training (as noted above)
     

6. Would my liability insurance go up with RxP addition?

  • No! RxPs would have their own liability insurance bracket, and this would NOT impact psychologists who don’t prescribe medications.

 
7. How would RxP in Colorado really improve access?

i. For Larimar and Adams – part of each county is in need of MHP.

  • The national average of available psychiatry service is 8.9 psychiatrists per 100,000 people. (Insight Regroup)About 50% of antipsychotic medications are prescribed to children and adolescents by PCPs who don’t follow the best practice guidelines compared to psychiatry, especially in the rural areas. (University of Michigan)

i. In CO, the ratio is 8.6 per 100,000.
ii. Each year, about 9,000 individuals go to University of Colorado ER for mental health crisis. (The Denver Post)

  • About 50% of antipsychotic medications are prescribed to children and adolescents by PCPs who don’t follow the best practice guidelines compared to psychiatry, especially in the rural areas. (University of Michigan)