1998 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Moody
House Bill 1523
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972,
TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF "INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION" UNDER THE PSYCHOLOGY LICENSING LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE STATE BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINERS TO THE STATE BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY; TO REVISE PROVISIONS RELATING TO BOARD MEMBER QUALIFICATIONS AND LENGTHS OF TERMS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD TO ENTER INTO RECIPROCITY AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER STATES AND JURISDICTIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL AND EXPERIENCE QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AS A PSYCHOLOGIST; TO REVISE THE MINIMUM PASSING SCORE ON THE LICENSING EXAMINATION; TO CODIFY SECTION 73-31-14, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR PROVISIONAL AND TEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGIST LICENSES; TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR LICENSING BY RECIPROCITY FOR CERTAIN PERSONS; TO AMEND SECTION 73-31-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD TO RECOVER COSTS OF DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS FOR PERSONS DISCIPLINED BY THE BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 41-21-61, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-31-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-31-3. When used in this chapter, the word or term:
(a) "Board" means the Mississippi State Board of Psychology.
(b) "Institution of higher education" means any regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States, accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, including a professional school, that offers a full-time doctoral course of study in psychology that is acceptable to the board; for Canadian universities, such term means an institution of higher education that is authorized by provincial statute or Royal Charter to grant doctoral degrees.
(c) "Person" includes an individual, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
(d) "Practice of psychology" means the description, interpretation and modification of human behavior through the application of psychological principles and procedures. The practice of psychology includes, but is not limited to, the assessment of personal characteristics such as intelligence, personality, ability, and other cognitive, behavioral and neuropsychological functioning, and efforts to change or improve symptomatic, maladaptive behavior or mental health through psychotherapy procedures including psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, biofeedback and hypnosis. Psychologists diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, disorders of habit and conduct, and disorders associated with physical illness or injury. Psychological services are provided to individuals, families, groups and the public. The practice of psychology shall be construed within the meaning of this definition without regard to whether payment is received for services rendered.
(e) "Psychologist" is a person who represents himself or herself to be a psychologist by using any title or description of services incorporating the words "psychological," "psychologist," "psychology," or who represents that he or she possesses expert qualification in any area of psychology, or offers to the public, or renders to individuals or to groups of individuals services defined as the practice of psychology by this chapter.
This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2001.
SECTION 2. Section 73-31-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows;
73-31-5. (1) There is * * * created a Mississippi State Board of Psychology consisting of seven (7) members who are citizens of the United States and residing in the State of Mississippi. One (1) member of the board shall be a person who is not a psychologist or a mental health professional but who has expressed a continuing interest in the field of psychology. Each board member shall otherwise be licensed under this chapter. At all times the board shall be composed of three (3) members who are faculty at institutions of higher learning that grant doctoral degrees or staff or faculty of an American Psychological Association approved doctoral level internship. Three (3) members of the board shall be engaged in the professional practice of psychology. The membership of the board shall reflect a diversity of practice specialties.
(2) When the term of each psychologist member ends the Governor shall, within thirty (30) days, appoint as his successor, for a term of five (5) years, a psychologist who holds a doctoral degree from an institution of higher education and who has been licensed under this chapter. When the term of the member who is not a psychologist ends, the Governor shall, within thirty (30) days, appoint a qualified person as his successor for a term of five (5) years. No board member shall serve for consecutive terms. Any vacancy occurring in the board membership other than by expiration of term shall be filled by the Governor by appointment for the unexpired term of such member. All appointments of psychologist members of the board shall be made from a list containing the names of at least three (3) eligible nominees for each vacancy submitted by the Mississippi Psychological Association. Each board member shall receive a certificate of appointment from the Governor before entering on the discharge of his duties, and within thirty (30) days from the effective date of his appointment shall subscribe an oath for the faithful performance of his official duty before any officer authorized to administer oaths in this state, and shall file the same with the Secretary of State. To enable the board to have regular, planned changes in membership, the following one-time changes in length of terms of board members is enacted:
(a) One (1) of the two (2) practice members appointed in 1998 will serve a three-year term;
(b) The practice member appointed in 2002 will serve a three-year term; and
(c) One (1) of the two (2) academic members appointed in 2002 will serve a four-year term.
(3) The Governor may remove any board member for misconduct, incompetency, or neglect of duty after giving the board member a written statement of the charges and an opportunity to be heard thereon.
(4) Each board member shall serve without compensation, but shall receive actual traveling and incidental expenses necessarily incurred while engaged in the discharge of official duties.
This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2001.
SECTION 3. Section 73-31-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-31-7. (1) The board shall annually elect from its membership a chairman and executive secretary at a meeting held during the last two (2) quarters of the fiscal year. The board shall meet at such other times as it deems necessary or advisable, or as deemed necessary and advisable by the chairman or a majority of its members or the Governor. Reasonable notice of all meetings shall be given in the manner prescribed by the board. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum at any meeting or hearing; except that when only four (4) members are present, decisions not gaining unanimous support shall be decided by mail ballot to all board members within fifteen (15) days succeeding the board meeting. Any meeting at which the chairman is not present shall be chaired by his designee.
(2) The board is authorized and empowered to:
(a) Adopt and, from time to time, revise such rules and regulations not inconsistent with, and as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Within the funds available, employ and/or contract with a stenographer and other personnel, and contract for services, as are necessary for the proper performance of its work under this chapter.
(c) Adopt a seal, and the executive secretary shall have the care and custody thereof.
(d) Examine, license, and renew the license of duly qualified applicants.
(e) Conduct hearings upon complaints concerning the disciplining or licensing of applicants and psychologists.
(f) Deny, approve, withhold, revoke, suspend and/or otherwise discipline applicants and licensed psychologists.
(g) Cause the prosecution and enjoinder of all persons violating this chapter, and incur necessary expenses therefor.
(h) Charge a fee of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) to a qualified psychologist as determined by the board who is applying for certification by the board to conduct examinations in civil commitment proceedings.
(i) Purchase general liability insurance coverage, including errors and omissions insurance, to cover the official actions of the board members and suits against them in their individual capacity. Such coverage shall be in an amount determined by the board to be adequate, and the costs of such insurance shall be paid out of any funds available to the board.
(j) Enter into agreements of reciprocity with other states, jurisdictions and organizations.
(3) Within thirty (30) days after the close of each fiscal year ending June 30, the board shall submit an official report, reviewed and signed by all board members, to the Governor concerning the work of the board during the preceding fiscal year. The report shall include the names of all psychologists to whom licenses have been granted; any cases heard and decisions rendered in relation to the work of the board; the names, remuneration and duties of any employees of the board; and an account of all monies received and expended by the board.
This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2001.
SECTION 4. Section 73-31-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-31-13. The board shall issue a license as a psychologist to each applicant who shall file an application upon a form and in such manner as the board prescribes, accompanied by such fee as is required by this chapter; and who furnishes evidence satisfactory to the board that he:
(a) Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age; and
(b) Is a citizen of the United States, a Canadian citizen applying for licensure under the terms of a reciprocity agreement, or has declared his intention to become a citizen. A statement by the applicant under oath that he is a citizen, a Canadian citizen applying for licensure under the terms of a reciprocity agreement, or that he intends to apply for citizenship when he becomes eligible to make such application, shall be sufficient proof of compliance with this requirement; and
(c) Is of good moral character; and
(d) Is not in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder; and
(e) Holds a doctoral degree in psychology from an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, or is authorized by provincial statute or Royal Charter to grant doctoral degrees, and from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association or the Canadian Psychological Association. For graduates from newly established programs seeking accreditation or in areas where no accreditation exists, applicants for licensure shall have completed a doctoral program in psychology that meets recognized acceptable professional standards as determined by the board. For applicants graduating from doctoral level psychology training programs outside of the United States of America, or Canada, applicants for licensure must have completed a doctoral program in psychology that meets recognized acceptable professional standards as determined by the board; and
(f) Has completed two (2) years of supervised experience in the same area of emphasis as the academic degree, which includes an internship and one (1) year of supervised post-doctoral experience, that meets the standards of training as defined by the board. Each year (or equivalent) shall be comprised of at least 2000 hours of actual work, to include direct service, training, and supervisory time. A predoctoral internship may be counted as one (1) of the two (2) years of experience; and
(g) Demonstrates professional knowledge by passing a written and oral examination in psychology prescribed by the board; except that upon examination of credentials the board may, by unanimous consent, consider these credentials adequate evidence of professional knowledge.
Upon investigation of the application and other evidence submitted, the board shall, not less than thirty (30) days prior to the examination, notify each applicant that the application and evidence submitted is satisfactory and accepted or unsatisfactory and rejected; if rejected, said notice shall state the reasons for such rejection.
The place of examination shall be designated in advance by the board, and such examination shall be given at such time and place and under such supervision as the board may determine.
The examination used by the board shall consist of written tests and oral tests, and shall fairly test the applicant's knowledge and application thereof in those areas deemed relevant by the board. These shall include, but not be limited to, the following: history of psychology, statistical methods, experimental design, personality theory and psychology of learning. In addition, the applicant shall be required to demonstrate his knowledge and application thereof in those areas deemed relevant to his specialty and/or those services he intends to offer to the public.
The board shall evaluate the results from both the written and oral examinations. The passing scores for the written and oral examinations shall be established by the board in its rules and regulations and in no event shall be a score of less than seventy percent (70%) correct. In the event an applicant fails to receive a passing score on the entire examination, he may reapply and shall be allowed to take a subsequent examination. An applicant who has failed two (2) successive examinations by the board may not reapply until after two (2) years from the date of the last examination failed. The board shall keep the written examination scores, and an accurate transcript of the questions and answers relating to the oral examinations, and the grade assigned to each answer thereof, as part of its records for at least two (2) years subsequent to the date of examination.
If any psychologist duly licensed under this chapter shall, by virtue of additional training and experience, become qualified to practice in a specialty other than that for which he was deemed competent at the time of initial licensing, and wishes to offer such service under the provisions of this chapter, he shall at the time of annual renewal of licenses submit additional credentials and be given the opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge and application thereof in areas deemed relevant to his specialty. This procedure shall be considered a necessary part of the renewal process, and no charge in addition to the renewal fee shall be levied.
This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2001.
Each application or filing made under this section shall include the Social Security number(s) of the applicant in accordance with Section 93-11-64.
SECTION 5. The following shall be codified as Section 73-31-14, Mississippi Code of 1972:
73-31-14. (1) Applicants who have met all the educational and internship requirements for licensure as provided in Section 73-31-13 and in the board's rules and regulations may, during their postdoctoral year of supervision, apply for a provisional license. Each applicant for provisional licensure shall file an application upon a form and in such a manner as the board prescribes accompanied by a fee equal to that required for permanent licensure. The provisional license will be issued upon passage of the EPPP exam at the level established by the board in its rules and regulations and equivalent to that required for permanent licensure.
(2) The provisional license is valid only for psychological services rendered as part of the postdoctoral year of supervision and is not valid for nonsupervised independent practice. Initial provisional licensure and renewal fees shall be equivalent to those established for permanent licensure. A provisional license may only be renewed one (1) time.
(3) A provisional license carries all the weights and privileges of licensure except for the requirement of continued supervision. Provisional licensees are subject to the same Mississippi laws and board rules and regulations, including continuing education requirements, that govern permanent licensees. The board may revoke or suspend a provisional license at any time the board determines that requirements of supervised experience are not being met.
(4) Upon satisfactory completion of the postdoctoral year of supervision in a manner equal to that required of applicants for permanent licensure, applicants holding provisional licenses may apply for the oral exam, by filing an application upon a form and in such a manner as the board prescribes, accompanied by a fee equal to that required by the board. Successful passage of the oral examination will lead to the issuance of a permanent license without the requirement of additional fees with the exception of renewal fees as required of all other licensees. Applicants who fail the oral exam must surrender their provisional license, but may retake the oral exam according to requirements specified by the board in its rules and regulations governing oral examinations.
(5) Applicants who have completed to the satisfaction of the board all requirements for licensure, with exception of passage of the oral examination, may upon application for licensure request a temporary license valid until the next administration of the oral examination. A temporary license cannot be issued to anyone who has failed the oral exam or has had their license suspended or revoked by the board. Rules and procedures for issuance of temporary licenses shall be established by the board in its rules and regulations.
(6) Applicants awaiting licensure in Mississippi are prohibited from practice of psychology without a provisional or temporary license issued by the board, except in cases where specific written permission to practice is granted by the board.
SECTION 6. Section 73-31-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-31-15. Upon application accompanied by fee the board may, without written or oral examination, issue a license to any person who furnishes, upon a form and in such manner as board prescribes, evidence satisfactory to the board that he or she:
(a) Is licensed or certified as a psychologist by another state, territorial possession of the United States, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or Canadian province, if the requirements for such license or certification are the substantial equivalent of this chapter;
(b) If he or she is a diplomate in good standing of the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology; or
(c) Is licensed in a jurisdiction that is a party to an agreement for reciprocity with the State of Mississippi and meets the terms and conditions for reciprocity as specified in the agreement.
SECTION 7. Section 73-31-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-31-21. (1) The board, by an affirmative vote of at least four (4) of its seven (7) members, shall withhold, deny, revoke or suspend any license issued or applied for in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or otherwise discipline a licensed psychologist, upon proof that the applicant or licensed psychologist:
(a) Has violated the current code of ethics of the American Psychological Association or other codes of ethical standards adopted by the board; or
(b) Has been convicted of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude, the record of conviction being conclusive evidence thereof; or
(c) Is using any narcotic or any alcoholic beverage to an extent or in a manner dangerous to any other person or the public, or to an extent that such use impairs his ability to perform the work of a professional psychologist with safety to the public; or
(d) Has impersonated another person holding a psychologist license or allowed another person to use his license; or
(e) Has used fraud or deception in applying for a license or in taking an examination provided for in this chapter; or
(f) Has accepted commissions or rebates or other forms of remuneration for referring clients to other professional persons; or
(g) Has allowed his name or license issued under this chapter to be used in connection with any person or persons who perform psychological services outside of the area of their training, experience or competence; or
(h) Is legally adjudicated mentally incompetent, the record of such adjudication being conclusive evidence thereof; or
(i) Has willfully or negligently violated any of the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The board may recover from any person disciplined under this chapter the costs of investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of the disciplinary action.
(3) Notice shall be effected by registered mail or personal service setting forth the particular reasons for the proposed action and fixing a date not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days from the date of such mailing or such service, at which time the applicant or licentiate shall be given an opportunity for a prompt and fair hearing. For the purpose of such hearing the board, acting by and through its executive secretary, may subpoena persons and papers on its own behalf and on behalf of the applicant or licentiate, may administer oaths and may take testimony. Such testimony, when properly transcribed, together with such papers and exhibits, shall be admissible in evidence for or against the applicant or licentiate. At such hearing applicant or licentiate may appear by counsel and personally in his own behalf. Any person sworn and examined by a witness in such hearing shall not be held to answer criminally, nor shall any papers or documents produced by such witness be competent evidence in any criminal proceedings against such witness other than for perjury in delivering his evidence. On the basis of any such hearing, or upon default of applicant or licentiate, the board shall make a determination specifying its findings of fact and conclusions of law. A copy of such determination shall be sent by registered mail or served personally upon the applicant or licentiate. The decision of the board denying, revoking or suspending the license shall become final thirty (30) days after so mailed or served unless within the period the licentiate appeals the decision to the chancery court, pursuant to the provisions hereof, and the proceedings in chancery shall be conducted as other matters coming before the court. All proceedings and evidence, together with exhibits, presented at such hearing before the board in the event of appeal shall be admissible in evidence in the court.
(4) The board may subpoena persons and papers on its own behalf and on behalf of the respondent, may administer oaths and may compel the testimony of witnesses. It may issue commissions to take testimony, and testimony so taken and sworn to shall be admissible in evidence for and against the respondent. The board shall be entitled to the assistance of the chancery court or the chancellor in vacation, which, on petition by the board, shall issue ancillary subpoenas and petitions and may punish as for contempt of court in the event of noncompliance therewith.
(5) Every order and judgment of the board shall take effect immediately on its promulgation unless the board in such order or judgment fixes a probationary period for applicant or licentiate. Such order and judgment shall continue in effect unless upon appeal the court by proper order or decree terminates it earlier. The board may make public its order and judgments in such manner and form as it deems proper. It shall, in event of the suspension or revocation of a license, direct the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which that license was recorded to cancel such record.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or revoking the authority of any court or of any licensing or registering officer or board, other than the State Board of Psychology, to suspend, revoke and reinstate licenses and to cancel registrations under the provisions of Section 41-29-311.
(7) Suspension by the board of the license of a psychologist shall be for a period not exceeding one (1) year. At the end of this period the board shall reevaluate the suspension, and shall either reinstate or revoke the license. A person whose license has been revoked under the provisions of this section may reapply for license after more than two (2) years have elapsed from the date such denial or revocation is legally effective.
(8) In addition to the reasons specified in subsection (1) of this section, the board shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157. Actions taken by the board in suspending a license when required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 are not actions from which an appeal may be taken under this section. Any appeal of a license suspension that is required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 shall be taken in accordance with the appeal procedure specified in Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, rather than the procedure specified in this section. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
(9) This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2001.
SECTION 8. Section 41-21-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-21-61. As used in Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms defined have the meanings ascribed to them:
(a) "Chancellor" means a chancellor or a special master in chancery.
(b) "Clerk" means the clerk of the chancery court.
(c) "Director" means the chief administrative officer of a treatment facility or other employee designated by him as his deputy.
(d) "Interested person" means an adult, including but not limited to, a public official, and the legal guardian, spouse, parent, legal counsel, adult, child next of kin, or other person designated by a proposed patient.
(e) "Mentally ill person" means any person who has a substantial psychiatric disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory which grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or to reason or understand, which (i) is manifested by instances of grossly disturbed behavior or faulty perceptions; and (ii) poses a substantial likelihood of physical harm to himself or others as demonstrated by (A) a recent attempt or threat to physically harm himself or others, or (B) a failure to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter or medical care for himself, as a result of the impairment. "Mentally ill person" includes a person who, based on treatment history and other applicable psychiatric indicia, is in need of treatment in order to prevent further disability or deterioration which would predictably result in dangerousness to himself or others when his current mental illness limits or negates his ability to make an informed decision to seek or comply with recommended treatment. "Mentally ill person" does not include a person having only one or more of the following conditions: (1) epilepsy, (2) mental retardation, (3) brief periods of intoxication caused by alcohol or drugs, (4) dependence upon or addiction to any alcohol or drugs, or (5) senile dementia.
(f) "Mentally retarded person" means any person (i) who has been diagnosed as having substantial limitations in present functioning, manifested before age eighteen (18), characterized by significantly subaverage intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with related limitations in two or more of the following applicable adaptive skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure and work, and (ii) whose recent conduct is a result of mental retardation and poses a substantial likelihood of physical harm to himself or others in that there has been (A) a recent attempt or threat to physically harm himself or others, or (B) a failure and inability to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, safety, or medical care for himself.
(g) "Physician" means any person licensed by the State of Mississippi to practice medicine in any of its branches.
(h) "Psychologist" when used in Sections 41-21-61 through 41-21-107, means a licensed psychologist who has been certified by the State Board of Psychology as qualified to perform examinations for the purpose of civil commitment.
(i) "Treatment facility" means a hospital, community mental health center, or other institution qualified to provide care and treatment for mentally ill, mentally retarded, or chemically dependent persons.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.