New Law Provides Clarifications, Modifications for Mental Health Licensees

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New Law Provides Clarifications, Modifications for Mental Health Licensees

Dear Stakeholder:

The July 14, 2020 signing into law of House Bill 20-1206, Sunset Mental Health Professionals has prompted changes affecting psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, unlicensed psychotherapists, and addiction counselors in Colorado.

Individual mental health professions have received information on changes directly impacting their sector. But there are also general changes to the law with overarching ramifications.

Among them, the bill:

  • Clarifies professional service corporation requirements.
  • Allows the staff of a mental health board to approve applications for licensure, certification, and registration without board ratification unless the board deems ratification necessary.
  • Modifies mandatory disclosure requirements to include that mental health professionals disclose to clients that medical records may not be maintained after seven years.
  • Expands and updates title protection for mental health professionals.
  • Clarifies prohibited activities:
    • to include any crime related to the practice of a mental health profession; 
    • to include offering or giving commissions, rebates or other renumeration unless it is for services provided, including marketing, office space, administrative, consultative, and clinical services and not the referral itself
  • Clarifies that any contract entered into by a mental health professional for marketing, office space or administrative support shall not provide remuneration for referrals or otherwise create a financial benefit.
  • Clarifies the mental health regulatory board’s ability to suspend a mental health professional's license, certification, or registration for failure to comply with a board-ordered mental or physical health examination.
  • Creates a mental health disciplinary record work group to make recommendations regarding records that impact the initial licensure, certification and registration and ongoing practice of individuals. This will include issuance of a report of its recommendations on or before January 1, 2021 regarding the timeline for which the Division of Professions and Occupations should make letters of admonition available to the public and any exceptions for continued internal use; and the timelines, parameters and conditions for which the Division is authorized to disclose certain felonies, deferred sentences and criminal offenses.
  • Clarifies that mental health professionals may administer opiate antagonists and are provided immunity when administering opiate antagonists in certain circumstances.
  • Clarifies that exemptions from Article 245 include: students practicing in a school program and a professional practicing auricular acudetox in accordance with 12-245-233, Colorado Revised Statutes.
  • Clarifies disclosure of confidential communications.

Professionals affected by these changes are encouraged to read the entire text of HB20-1206, since other alterations more specific to individual mental health professions also are included within this new law. A virtual stakeholder meeting will be held July 30, 2020 to discuss HB20-1206 and other mental health bills.

Implementation of these changes is in process. Questions may be referred to Thank you.


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