Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2009

CONTACT
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047, marla.augustine@nebraska.gov

 

DHHS to Hold Two Hearings June 11 in Lincoln

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health will hold two public hearings June 11, 2009. These hearings will take place in Lincoln at the State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall South.

Public Hearing at 10:00 a.m. CT, in Conference Rm B, Lower Level

The Division is holding this hearing to accept comments on proposed changes to regulations for licensure of independent mental health practitioners and mental health practitioners and certification of marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and social workers. These regulations were previously considered at a public hearing on July 3, 2008. The proposed changes from the July 3, 2008 public hearing include implementing provisions of the Uniform Credentialing Act (UCA) and implementing provisions for the licensure of independent mental health practitioners, including the specific scope of practice and requirements to attain this license (Laws 2007, LB 247 and Laws 2008, LB 1108). The revised proposed regulations make the following additional changes:

  • Clarify how a credential holder may decline to provide or make a referral for services due to a religious or moral conviction;
  • Revise the definitions of approved marriage and family program, mental health program, professional counseling program, and social work program; and
  • Revise wording of the initial license, renewal, and reinstatement sections.

Public Hearing at 1:30 p.m. CT, in Conference Rm A, Lower Level

The Division is holding this hearing to accept comments on proposed changes to regulations for licensure of psychologists. The proposed changes will implement provisions of the Uniform Credentialing Act (UCA) and make other revisions, including:

  • Establishing common definitions under the UCA;
  • Specifying requirements for credentialing of citizens and non-citizens;
  • Establishing a uniform process under the UCA for initially obtaining a credential and supervisory registration;
  • Revising the requirements for an internship that is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA);
  • Including a description of activities that do not require a license;
  • Specifying continuing competency requirements;
  • Establishing a uniform process under the UCA for renewal, voluntary surrender, or limitation; and reinstatement of a credential;
  • Providing that a single notice be sent to each licensee for renewal;
  • Eliminating lapsed status as a renewal option, allowing for reinstatement for an expired license, and eliminating revocation of a license for non-renewal;
  • Establishing uniform grounds for disciplinary actions;
  • Repealing 172 NAC 156; specifying in 172 NAC 155, acts or behaviors considered to be, unprofessional conduct; and adding a “professional records” section;
  • Adopting the American Psychological Association’s Code of Ethical Standards and repealing 172 NAC 157; and
  • Referring to fees in 172 NAC 2 (new chapter) and repealing 172 NAC 158, Fees for Psychology Licenses.

Anyone may attend and comment at these hearings or submit comments in writing. Written comments must be postmarked or received by 5:00 p.m. CT, June 13, 2009. They should be sent to DHHS, Regulatory Analysis and Integration, 301 Centennial Mall South, P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, NE 68509; faxed to 402-742-2382; or e-mailed to Rules.Regs@dhhs.ne.gov.

If auxiliary aids or reasonable accommodations are needed to participate in a hearing, please call 402-471-9022. Persons with hearing impairments may call the DHHS at 402-471-9570 (voice and TDD) or the Nebraska Relay System at 711 or 800-833-7352 TDD.

Draft regulations and DHHS hearing notices are available online at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/reg_hearings.aspx.

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