OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6780

AN ACT REQUIRING CERTAIN HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS TO COMPLETE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS COMMON TO VETERANS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETERANS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires certain health care and other professionals, starting by January 1, 2016, to take at least two contact hours of training or education each registration period on mental health conditions common to veterans and their family members. This includes (1) determining whether a patient is a veteran or a family member of one; (2) screening for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, risk of suicide, depression, and grief; and (3) suicide prevention training.

The bill requires such continuing education training or education for the following professions:

1. chiropractors, as part of their required 48 hours every two years;

2. licensed or certified alcohol and drug counselors, as part of their required 20 hours every year;

3. marital and family therapists, as part of their required 15 hours every year;

4. physicians and surgeons, as part of their required 50 hours every two years;

5. professional counselors, as part of their required 15 hours every year;

6. psychologists, as part of their required 10 hours every year; and

7. social workers, as part of their required 15 hours every year.

Additionally, the bill requires certain advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) first licensed between January 1, 1990 and January 1, 1992 to take such training, as part of their continuing education requirement.  This provision applies to APRNs who (1) when initially licensed, had been practicing in a nurse practitioner role for at least five years but who were unable to obtain national certification and (2) have not yet obtained such certification. (It is unclear if any currently practicing APRNs are in this category.)

Under the bill, the public health commissioner must adopt regulations on such training or education for (1) chiropractors, (2) marital and family therapists, and (3) professional counselors.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

COMMITTEE ACTION

Veterans' Affairs Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

14

Nay

0

(03/03/2015)