In The News

Recent Action on Legislative Bills

Passed the House Floor on Second Reading

HB19-1193 by Representatives Herod and Pelton; also Senator Garcia--Behavioral Health Supports For High-risk Families

Rep. Pelton moves the bill and the appropriations committee report. Rep. Pelton explains that the appropriations committee report amends the appropriation to $500,000. The Committee Report is adopted. Rep. Herod explains that this bill works to address the lack of treatment of mothers by extending the enrollment to the special connections program for one year to help treat substance abuse issue in mothers. The bill also creates a waiver process for the program and two pilot programs. The bill is adopted on a voice vote.

 

HB19-1269 by Representatives Cutter and Sullivan; also Senators Ginal and Gardner--Mental Health Parity Insurance Medicaid

Rep. Sullivan moves the bill, Public Health and Appropriations Committee reports. Appropriations made two technical changes. The Committee Report is adopted. Rep. Cutter explains the public health report ensures all stakeholder were on the same page. The Committee Report is adopted. Rep. Sullivan explains that this puts mental health on the same level of importance on physical healthcare as mental healthcare. Rep. Cutter explains that half of coloradans who need mental health treatment are not getting it. Rep. Beckman asks if this is over and above the federal legislation. Rep. Cutter explains that federal healthcare parity is not being enforced so this bill puts that language in state law and enforces it. HB19-1269 passes on a voice vote.

 

Passed the Senate Floor on Second Reading

HB19-1039 by Representative(s) Esgar; also, Senator(s) Moreno – Identity Documents for Transgender Persons

Sen. Moreno moves the bill, the judiciary report, and the appropriations report. Judiciary committee made minor tweaks to the bill. They made sure that the bill applies the same to the Department of Public Health as it does to the Department of Revenue. In appropriations, they made an appropriation for programming changes in the DMV. The reports are adopted. 

Sen Moreno moves amendment L015. The amendment says that the state registrar shall notify the department of revenue when an individual is issued a new birth certificate. It also pushes the start date to January 1, 2020. The amendment passes. 

Sen. Moreno says it is an honor to bring this bill. It has been a long time in the making. It has been introduced in the last 4 or 5 legislative sessions and has never reached this point where they are having a discussion on the floor on making sure transgender people have documents that reflect who they are. It is an important bill to get government out of the way and makes sure people in Colorado can live a healthy, productive life without government interference. They know that identity documents are important in their every day lives. It is incredibly important that these documents for transgender Coloradans reflect who they are and their gender designation. This bill will allow for this to happen. When transgender people face so many challenges in their life, this is the least that they could do. This bill is named Jude’s Law. The namesake is in the Senate chamber today with her family. They have been fighting for this legislation for years. He encourages an aye vote. 

Sen. Crowder says there are to be three different choices on a birth certificate for gender. How would choosing X, being male nor female, for selective service? How does someone transitioning from male to female renounce their selective service? If you are X, are you relieved of any obligation for selective service? How do they deal with a situation, if a war breaks out in the future, where people change their birth certificate to avoid the draft? Sen. Moreno says it is not a question that has been raised before. For the selective service, they all know that all males in the country are required to register for selective service at 18 years of age. This bill will not change that requirement. As long as a person’s gender designation is male when they turn 18, they will still be registered for selective service. Not all people are born male or female. There is an intersex option. Currently, they want to make sure that that is also reflected until the point that they choose to designate themselves with a particular gender. Sen. Crowder asks if there have been conversations about people using the bill to avoid the draft? How do they safeguard this to make sure people are not doing this? Sen. Moreno says he does not think that this is a legitimate issue. He does not think people will use this process to dodge military service. They have made sure that anyone can be welcome in the military. That is the bigger issue, not the process that anyone could possibly use this to avoid the draft. The bill, to get at the concerns being brought up, you are allowed to change the gender designation on your birth certificate once. If a further change is necessary, you must go through a court proceeding. The other protection is, under penalty of perjury, you cannot file for a new birth certificate for any other reason other than reflecting your gender identity. 

Sen. Gonzales says it is a valuable question to ask on how they allow people to serve who want to but cannot. She speaks about the President’s transgender military ban. There are over 15000 members of the trans community who would like to be able to serve this country and are unable to do so. For someone who is willing and wants to serve, right not the federal government will not honor that desire to serve their country. She urges an aye vote because this is about ensuring that Coloradans are able to have the updated documents that reflect who they are. Sen. Coram says he thinks the more likely thing to happen is an end to the selective service program.

Sen. Crowder says that there is a ban on enlistment, but the people who are serving are still in. But when they talk about not thinking it will happen, they also did not think 100,000 people would leave to Canada but he says they did. This question will go on and on. He thinks it is an important question. The way to solve the question would be to ask that all people over 18 sign up for the draft.  Sen. Gonzales says people assigned male at birth are required to register for selective service, this includes people who have transitioned since them. People who are assigned female at birth are not required to. The bill is adopted. 

 

Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) Call for Nominations

The Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) would like to share the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) Call for Nominations. 

The role of CRSPPP is to evaluate areas of psychology to determine if they are appropriate for designation as proficiencies or specialties. Additionally, CRSPPP evaluates applications of entities to be recognized as credentialing organizations so that they may have their credential listed in the APA membership directory.

Commissioners shall also be nominated in such a fashion that ensures representation among them of (a) the broad scope of the practice of professional psychology, its scientific bases, and the Association's commitment to diversity and the public interest, and (b) an array of expertise in such matters as professional education, practitioner credentialing, program accreditation, continuing professional development, the identification of emerging patterns of practice, marketplace issues, legal/regulatory affairs, comprehensive and long-range knowledge of the development of specialties and the education and training system, student perspectives, consumer perspectives, evidence-based practice and/or science background. Additionally, of particular interest will be individuals with specific expertise in the areas of training / education (doctoral, internship, post-doctoral, post-licensure), independent private practice, diversity issues, licensure and regulation, and / or board certification and credentialing (in specialties and sub-specialties). 

In order to be selected, nominees must commit to serving the full three-year term (2020-2022). The workload of CRSPPP is extensive and requires both attendance at meetings and reviewing written materials throughout the year in preparation for meetings. Currently, CRSPPP is reviewing its policies and documentation as part of its ongoing work to ensure that APA policy in this area reflects the updated and also anticipated directions of the profession. 

All CRSPPP members are expected to: 1) attend CRSPPP’s scheduled face-to-face meetings in Washington, DC; and 2) respond to email correspondence between committee meetings. The dates of the upcoming scheduled spring and fall meetings are as follows: 

Fall 2019: October 11-22
Spring 2020: March 27-28
Fall 2020: October 16-17

APA reimburses CRSPPP members for the costs of attendance at required face-to-face meetings.  
Please submit your most recent CV to Jessica Andrade by Monday, April 22nd. Questions should be addressed to Jessica Andrade.

 

Colorado Psychological Association Webinar Information

Posted: April 9, 2019

CPA has planned and hosted several great events and educational opportunities throughout 2019 so far. Our quarterly webinars are a perfect opportunity to obtain 1 CE credit!

Webinars are available to CPA members for free, with the ability to access the past recording. Non-members can view webinars by purchasing access to the webinars. As we prepare for quarterly webinars, make sure to look out for these CE opportunities from CPA!

 

 

New Privacy and Data Security Laws Affecting Psychologists

By Terry Cipoletti, Esq., Caplan and Earnest, LLC

In May 2018, (former) Governor Hickenlooper signed three changes into Colorado law that effectively increased the obligations and potential financial penalties on most businesses operating in Colorado, including psychologists. These new privacy and data security laws went into effect last year on September 1, 2018. Whether you are a solo practitioner or part of a larger practice, if you keep any paper or electronic document with a patient’s “personal identifying information” as part of your practice, then you must comply with the new privacy laws. Additionally, if you keep “personal information” about a Colorado resident in electronic format as part of your practice, then you must comply with the newly amended data security law. Even if your practice is already subject to HIPAA (the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), HIPAA only establishes a floor and not a ceiling in the law, meaning the State of Colorado may build additional protections on top of HIPAA.

The two new privacy laws apply to “personal identifying information,” while the new data security law applies to “personal information.” There is significant overlap between these two types of information, but the phrases are not identical. 

Personal identifying information means a social security number; personal identification number; password; pass code; government-issued driver’s license or ID card number; government passport number; biometric data (used for authenticating an individual for an online account); an employer, student or military ID number; or a financial transaction device (which includes any type of card or account [but not checks] that can be used to obtain cash, goods, services or to make financial payments).

Personal information means a Colorado resident’s first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following unencrypted data elements: social security number; student, military, or passport ID number; driver’s license number or ID card number; medical information; health insurance ID number; or biometric data. Personal information also includes a Colorado resident’s username or email address in combination with a password or security questions and answers; or account number or credit or debit card number in combination with any required security code or password that would permit access to the account.

 If you keep any of the above-referenced types of information, which most professionals (or their contracted billing companies) do, you need to be sure that you are complying with the new laws to protect your patients’ rights and to avoid potential monetary and other significant penalties. Even if your practice already has safeguards and written policies and procedures in place to comply with HIPAA, these new laws create a few additional and more restrictive obligations above and beyond what HIPAA may require. The following is a summary of some critical aspects of the new privacy and data security laws that every psychologist operating a practice in Colorado needs to be aware of and consider. 

Under C.R.S. § 6-1-713.5, if psychologists maintain, own or license personal identifying information in any aspect of their businesses, under the new law, they must enact reasonable security (safeguarding) procedures and practices to protect patients’ personal identifying information from unauthorized access, use, modification, disclosure, or destruction. What is “reasonable” is based in part on the nature and size of the business.

Under C.R.S. § 6-1-713, psychologists who maintain personal identifying information, whether in paper or electronic format, must develop a written policy for the destruction or proper disposal of the information. The written policy, unless otherwise required by state or federal law or regulation, must require that when the personal identifying information is no longer needed, it will be destroyed by shredding, erasing, or other modification to make the information unreadable or indecipherable. The new statute makes clear that other Colorado laws and Board policies still control and dictate how long mental health records must be kept by licensed healthcare professionals. For psychologists who are subject to the safeguarding obligations that HIPAA has created, the most notable change under the new privacy laws is the obligation to have an express written destruction policy.

Lastly, under C.R.S. § 6-1-716, the legislatureamended the security breach provisions of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act: (a) broadening the type of personal information covered by the security breach statute to include medical information, (b) significantly expanding those to whom businesses must now report a breach, and (c) greatly reducing the amount of time in which healthcare professionals (and all businesses) must provide notice of a breach. For any psychologist who is subject to this section and experiences a security breach, the psychologist, generally within 30 days, must notify each Colorado resident whose personal information was involved. If the breach affected 500 or more Colorado residents, the psychologist must also notify the Colorado Attorney General’s office within 30 days. Additionally, if a breach affects more than 1,000 Colorado residents, the psychologist must also notify the three national consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), generally within 30 days. Where HIPAA allowed healthcare providers a maximum of 60 days after discovery of a breach to provide individuals notice, Colorado’s new law has generally cut that time in half. The clock for notice starts ticking on the date the psychologist becomes aware that a security breach may have occurred. Like HIPAA, Colorado’s new security breach statute, with limited exception, does not create leeway to extend the notification deadline nor does it create any exemption based on the size of your practice. 

            In summary, the new laws require subject businesses, including solo practitioners: (1) to create security procedures to protect personal identifying information, (2) to develop a written policy for the secure destruction of the personal identifying information when it is no longer needed, and (3) to give notice within 30 days when a breach of any computerized personal information about a Colorado resident has occurred.

 

The April TCP Is Now Available

Posted: April 1, 2019

Members of CPA-- your April edition of The Colorado Psychologist is now available! Please click here to access your newsletter.

Inside April's Issue:

1. Message from the President
2. CPA Calendar of Events
4. Message from the Editors
5. Interview with a Psychologist: Joyce L. Fine, PhD
7. What's New at CPA
9. New and Returning CPA Members
10. Message from a CPA Board Member
12. Message from APA Counsel Rep. for CO
15. Will Psychoactive Drugs Give us a New Way to Heal?
18. The Use of Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain
20. Advertising Rates

 

 
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