This bill adds sections in chapters 43.70 RCW and 18.225 RCW regarding increasing the behavioral health workforce and establishing a reciprocity program.
Sec. 1 proposes a reciprocity program for applicants for licensure or certification as a behavioral health professional. The program will apply to individuals who:
· Hold or have held a license/certification within the past 12 months that is in good standing from another state/territory in the U.S.
· Have no disciplinary record or disqualifying criminal history.
This section also proposes a probationary license or certification to an applicant who meets the requirements of sec. 1 and allows the department to determine whether the applicant requires additional training. The department must also maintain and publish a list of foreign licenses/certifications that are accepted.
Sec. 2 establishes options for adoption of an interstate compact or compacts supporting license portability.
House Amendments (updated 4.12.19):
- Added psychologists to the reciprocity program.
- Psychologists and chemical dependency professionals are added to the provisions directing the Department of Health to explore options related to interstate compacts.
- Applies the reciprocity program to applicants from other states or territories with substantially equivalent or greater scope of practice to Washington's, rather than an equivalent scope of practice or greater.
- Persons with a probationary credential are limited to only practicing in licensed or certified behavioral health service providers.
- The Department of Health must prioritize identifying the five states or territories that have historically had the most applicants for reciprocity with a scope of practice that is substantially equivalent to or greater than the scope in Washington.
Relocates the reciprocity program to the chapters for the respective professions.