SF1721 creates a new chapter regulating alcohol and drug counselors. This new chapter consolidates a number of existing statutes and rules. This bill also contains several housekeeping changes to the licensed professional counselors sections of law.
Article 1 - Alcohol and Drug Counselors
Section 1 (148F.001) provides the scope of the chapter.
Section 2 (148F.010) defines terms. (Source: 148C.01; Minn. Rules, parts 4747.0030 and 2150.7505)
Section 3 (148F.015) specifies the duty of the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. (Source: 148C.03)
Section 4 (148F.020) requires individuals to notify the board with current information. (Source: 148C.0351, subd. 3)
Section 5 (148F.025) establishes requirements for licensure.
Subdivision 1 requires applicants to complete and submit a notarized written application with the appropriate fee.
Subdivision 2 specifies the educational requirements for licensure.
Subdivision 3 requires applicants to pass the specified professional examination or pass a written exam specified by the board and complete a written case presentation and pass an oral exam or complete 2,000 hours of post degree supervised professional practice.
Section 6 (148F.030) establishes reciprocity (identical to section 148C.07)
Section 7 (148F. 035), paragraph (a), authorizes the board to issue a temporary permit if an individual received an associate degree or an equivalent number of credit hours, completed 880 hours of supervised practicum, and 18 semester credits or 270 hours of academic course work in alcohol and drug counseling from an accredited school or program and has completed coursework in specified areas.
Paragraph (b) requires the applicant to complete and submit a notarized application and pay the appropriate fee.
Paragraph (c) requires the individual to be supervised by a licensed professional; abide by all statutes and rules with the exception of the continuing education requirements; and use the title “ Alcohol and Drug Counselor-Trainee.”
Paragraph (d) requires the individual to submit a renewal application annually with the appropriate fee. The paragraph states that the temporary permit will expire if not renewed or upon the granting or denial of the applicant’s application for licensure as an alcohol and drug counselor. It also authorizes the temporary permit to be renewed up to five times.
(Source: 148C.04, subd. 6)
Section 8 (148F.040) describes the supervised post degree professional practice. This language is substantially the same as section 148C.044 in current law.
Section 9 (148F.045) authorizes an alcohol and drug counselor technician to perform certain services. This language is substantially the same as in section 148C.045 in current law. (Source: 148C.05)
Section 10 (148F.050) describes the license renewal requirements.
Subdivision 1 requires the license to be renewed every two years.
Subdivision 2 requires the board to mail a renewal notice to the licensee’s last known address 60 days before the license renewal deadline.
Subdivision 3 states the information that must be submitted to the board at renewal. It also states that the completed application and fee must be postmarked or received by the board by the end of the day that the license expires or the following business day of the expiration date in on a weekend or holiday.
Subdivision 4 permits the licensee to continue to practice if the renewal was received within the appropriate time.
Subdivision 5 requires the licensees to pay a late fee if the application for renewal is late.
Section 11 (148F.055) specifies the requirements upon the expiration of a license.
Subdivision 1 states that a license is not authorized to practice after the expiration date of the license if the licensee fails to submit an application for renewal or if the renewal is not postmarked or received as required.
Subdivision 2 requires the board to send a licensee who has not renewed his or her license a letter within 30 days after the renewal date stating that the renewal is overdue. The board is required to terminate the license if the renewal is at least 60 days overdue and such notification has been sent. Failure to receive notification is not grounds to later challenge the termination. The board must notify the former licensee by letter within seven days after the board action.
(Scource: Minn. Rules, part 2150.0110)
Section 12 (148F.060) permits a licensee to voluntarily terminate the license upon written notification to the board unless a complaint is pending. Notification must be received by the board before the license is terminated for nonrenewal. The board retains jurisdiction over a licensee whose license has been voluntarily terminated and against whom a complaint has been made for conduct during the period of licensure. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.0120)
Section 13 (148F.065) establishes relicensure requirements following termination.
Subdivision 1 sets out the procedure and requirements for a former licensee to be relicensed.
Subdivision 2 requires a former licensee to provide evidence of completing at least 20 hours of continuing education for each year, or a portion of the year, that the former licensee did not hold a license.
Subdivision 3 requires a former licensee seeking relicensure after two years to seek a new license.
(Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.0130)
Section 14 (148F.070) establishes requirements following inactive status. It also sets out the procedures and requirements for a licensee to request the board to place the license on inactive status. Also sets out the procedures and requirements to reactivate the license. (Source: 148.055, subd.1 and 2, and Minn. Rules, part 2150.0160)
Section 15 (148F.075) sets out the continuing education requirements
Subdivision 1 states the purpose of requiring CE credits.
Subdivision 2 requires licensee to complete at least 40 clock hours of CE activities.
Subdivision 3 states the standards that must be met in order for the credit to qualify as a CE activity.
Subdivision 4 states what activities qualify.
Subdivision 5 states what activities do not qualify.
Subdivision 6 specifies what documentation is necessary for reporting compliance.
Subdivision 7 authorizes the board to randomly audit a percentage of the licensees for compliance.
Subdivision 8 authorizes the board to grant a one-time variance to the CE requirements.
(Source: 148.075; Minn. Rules, parts 4747.1110, 2150.2580, 2150.2590, 2150.2650 and 3250.2660)
Section 16 (148F.080) describes the requirements that must be met by a sponsor before the board will give approval for a CE activity. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.2560)
Section 17 (148F. 085) states that licenses are not transferrable. (Identical to section 148C.08 in current law)
Section 18 (148F.090) describes the grounds in which the board may impose disciplinary action against a license or applicant. (Source: sections 148C.09, 148C.091, 148B.59, 148B.5901, and 148B.5905)
Section 19 (148F.095) establishes additional remedies. (Identical to section 148C.093)
Section 20 (148F.100) requires a licensee to cooperate with an investigation. (Identical to section 148C.099, subd. 1)
Section 21 (148F.105) prohibits the practice and the use of specific titles without a license. (Source: section 148C.10)
Section 22 (148F.110) lists the exception to the licensure requirement. Current law requires the board to establish special licensing criteria for counselors who work with ethnic minority and disabled populations. This section does not contain this language. (Substanitally similar to section 148C.11, subd. 1 to 3)
Section 23 (148F.115) establishes the fees. (Substantially similar to section 148C.12, does not increase current fees)
Section 24 (148F.120) establishes the professional conduct for alcohol and drug counselors. (Source: Minn. Rules, parts 4747.1400, 2150.7500, 2150.7610)
Section 25 (148F.125) establishes perimeters upon which an alcohol and drug counselor shall limit their practice. (Subtanially similar to Minn. Rules, part 2150.7510, that relates to licensed professional counselors)
Section 26 (148F.130) establishes protections for private information obtained through the course of the practice. (Subdivisions 1 and 3 to 13 are substantially similar to Minn. Rules, part 2150.7515, relating to professional counselors) This section authorizes the counselor to disclose private information without the consent of the client if a duty to warn arises or is otherwise provided by law or court order. The duty to warn of violent behavior or to take reasonable precautions to provide protection from arises only when a client or other person has communicated to the provider a specific, serious threat of physical violence to self or a specific, clearly identified or identifiable potential victim.
Section 27 (148F.135) addresses client right to access and release of information, the process for release of information to others, and the board’s access during an investigation of the counselors. (Identical to Minn. Rules, part 2150.7520, for licensed professional counselors)
Section 28 (148F.140) requires the counselor to obtain written and signed informed consent from the client before initiating services. This section lists the information that must be disclosed in order for consent to be considered informed. This section requires a new informed consent to be obtained when there is a substantial change in service. This section permits emergency services to be provided without obtaining informed consent but requires informed consent once the emergency is over. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7525, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 29 (148F.145) requires services to be terminated when a counselor’s objectivity or effectiveness is impaired or the client would be harmed by further services. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7530, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 30 (148F.150) lists the information that must be included in a client’s records and provides information retention requirements. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7530, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 31 (148F.155) states that services must not be provided when a counselor’s objectivity or effectiveness is impaired, if the services would create a multiple relationship with the client, when the client is the counselor’s student or supervisee, when the counselor is biased against the client, or when there is a fundamental conflict of service goals. This section lists mechanisms that may be used to resolve an impairment of objectivity or effectiveness. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7540, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 32 (148F.160) prohibits a counselor from providing services when the counselor is unable to provide services with reasonable skill and safety due to a physical or mental illness, including substance or chemical abuse or dependence. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7545, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 33 (148F.165) requires the counselors to explain the nature and purpose of the counseling and to provide clients with the required client bill of rights. This section also prohibits exploitation of a client, sexual behavior with a client, or misuse of the client/counselor relationship. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7550, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 34 (148F.170) prohibits discrimination, exploitation of the professional relationship, sexual behavior, fraudulent or deceptive behavior, or any unprofessional conduct. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7555, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors.)
Section 35 (148F.175) requires the counselor to ask whether the client has a preexisting relationship with another health care professional and if relevant to the counselor’s services, coordinate services with the other health care professionals if the client provides consent. This section also allows the counselor to review relevant medical information with the treating health care professional to the extent possible and consistent with the wishes of the client. This section also states that if the counselor believes a client’s condition may have a medical basis, then within the limits of the counselor’s competence, the counselor can discuss this with the client and offer to identify medical resources for the client. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7560, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors)
Section 36 (148F.180) requires counselors to base their assessments and reports on records and information, among other things, necessary to support their findings. This section also classifies test results and interpretations as private information. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7565)
Section 37 (148F.185) prohibits public statements that include false or misleading information, misrepresentation, or the use of a specialty board designation, unless the counselor hold the designation. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7570)
Section 38 (148F.190) requires the disclosure of fees before services are provided and requires the counselor to itemize fees for services for which the client or third party is billed and to make the statement available to the client. This section prohibits the misrepresentation of billed services and from accepting any form of compensation in exchange for making referrals. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7580, currently pertains to licensed professional counselors).
Section 39 (148F.195) prohibits counselors from assisting unlicensed individuals from engaging in the practice of alcohol and drug counseling. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7585)
Section 40 (148F.200) states that a counselor shall not violate any laws that involve the alcohol and drug counselor practice act. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7590)
Section 41 (148F.205) provides for complaints to the board. (Source: Minn. Rules, part 2150.7605, and section 148C.095)
Section 42 requires the board to convene a work group to evaluate the feasibility of a tiered licensure system for alcohol and drug counselors. The study should include a proposed scope of practices for each tier, the required education and examination requirements for each tier, the clinical setting in which each tier would be utilized and any other issues the board deems necessary. The board shall submit the report to be legislature by December 15, 2015.
Section 43 requires the Revisor to consult with the board to make any necessary cross-reference changes.
Section 44 repeals Minnesota Rules, chapter 4747, relating to alcohol and drug counselors and all sections in chapter 148C relating to alcohol and drug counselors.
Article 2 – Licensed Professional Counselors
Section 1 (148B.5301, subdivision 1) modifies the examination requirement.
Section 2 (148B.5301, subdivision 3a) permits an individual who is currently licensed as a licensed professional counselor to convert to a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) by providing specified evidence to the board. This expires August 1, 2014.
Section 3 (148B.5301, subdivision 4 ) describes the requirements that have to be met after August 1, 2014, to convert from a licensed professional counselor to a LPCC.
Section 4 (148B.54, subdivision 2) modifies the continuing education requirements.
Section 5 (148B.54, subdivision 3) modifies relicensure following termination.
Section 6 provides for an effective date of the day following final enactment for this article.