WASHINGTON STATE

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH)

WAMFT invites its members to subscribe to get email or text alert notifications of information about rule making and other topics related to Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) from WA State DOH.

 

 

 

Rules are also known as regulations, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC.  The rules writing process is open to the public. The public is welcome to take part in helping us write rules. The rule-making process includes public notices and workshops, and usually a public hearing before a rule becomes final.

DOH UPDATES

July 25, 2021--Consent & Established Relationship for Audio-Only Telemedicine

Substitute House Bill 1196 was passed during the 2021 legislative session and requires the following regarding the practice of telemedicine:

  • Beginning July 25th, 2021, providers who bill a patient or the patient’s health plan for audio-only telemedicine services must receive patient consent for the billing prior to rendering the service. The patient consent requirement is applicable to PEBB/SEBB plans, private health plans, behavioral health administrative services organizations and managed care organizations contracted with the Health Care Authority, and Medicaid managed care plans contracted with the Health Care Authority.

  • Beginning January 1st, 2023, the provider must have an established relationship with a patient for an audio-only telemedicine service to be compensated at the same rate as an in-person visit. Established Relationship is defined as a prior in-person visit within the last year with the provider, another provider at the same clinic, or with the referring provider.

  • The bill also amends RCW 18.130.180(21) – unprofessional conduct, to include as unprofessional conduct a pattern of violations for failing to receive consent prior to billing for audio-only telemedicine services.

For more telehealth related information and resources, please visit The Washington State Department of Health Telehealth Resources webpage.

July 1, 2021--CE Requirements Update

The passage of ESHB 2411 in 2020 brought changes to Continuing Education Requirements for mental health professionals in Washington. Beginning 7/1/21, the second required 6-hr suicide training must be an advanced suicide training.  However, until the Department of Health establishes rules and standards for the advanced training, this requirement will not be enforced.

 

Updated WACs:

246-809-615

246-809-630

246-809-632


In addition, AIDS prevention and information education requirements (246-809-080) has been repealed effective 5/14/21.

June 18, 2021--Allowing additional associate license renewals

The Department of Health (department) has begun rulemaking in order to implement HB 1063. This bill allows the department to issue an additional renewal beyond the current statutory limits for Licensed Counselor Associates and Substance Use Disorder Professional Trainees if they have experienced barriers to obtaining supervised experience hours or examination opportunities during a Governor-declared state of emergency, such as the COVID-19 state of emergency.

 

The department is pursuing the expedited rule making process as this bill went into effect immediately.

 

The Licensed Counselor professions (Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers – Advanced, and Social Workers – Independent Clinical) are currently limited to 6 associate credential renewals.   This additional extension is available to individuals who currently have an unrenewable Associate or Trainee credential and can be requested within 90 days of the expiration of that credential. 

 

Individuals who would like to request an additional renewal under  RCW 18.225.145 due to COVID-19 or other Governor-declared state of emergency must submit a request in writing to the department addressed to HSQAReview1@doh.wa.gov as well as the assigned program manager  (for MFT’s, the assigned program manager is Brandon Williams:   Brandon.williams@doh.wa.gov.)

The request should include the following information about the practitioner:

  • Name,

  • Credential number,

  • Credential expiration date,

  • Email address,

  • Phone number, and

  • An explanation of how the COVID-19 state of emergency has created a barrier to obtaining supervised experience or examination opportunities.

If you have questions about obtaining an additional renewal, please contact the appropriate program manager for your profession (for MFT’s, the assigned program manager is Brandon Williams:  Brandon.williams@doh.wa.gov.)

Washington COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Learn more about the Washington COVID-19 Vaccine distribution and Vaccine Locations 

Reciprocity, Out of State Applicants

Reciprocity is here! Click below for more information on new rules set in place regarding out of state applicants ability to gain temporary licensure while applying for full licensure. It is important to note, that temporary licenses only allow you to practice therapy within licensed behavioral health agencies and not private practices.

 

If you are navigating this process and you have complications or questions, email wamft@wamft.org right away for assistance!

Do you have a story to tell about being MFT-licensed in another state and trying to become MFT-licensed in Washington? We want to hear from you! Gathering many of these stories will allow us to advocate for you about licensure reciprocity.