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Chemical Dependency Professionals Board Rule Changes: Part 2

Client Alert

The below rule changes are effective on April 1, 2024. For questions about these rules, contact BMD attorney Daphne Kackloudis.

Requirements for Certification of Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistants (CDCA) - OAC 4758-5-01

Now, under the amended rule, a certified chemical dependency counselor assistant (CDCA) will be certified for a preliminary, non-renewable thirteen-month period if they meet the requirements under this rule. Specifically, an applicant must (1) be eighteen (18) years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent and (2) submit a formal application, pay an application fee, and provide a personal attestation statement agreeing to practice by the code of ethical standards adopted by the board. Additionally, the applicant must now complete forty (40) hours of approved substance use disorder specific education in the topics set by the board.

Scope of Practice for Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistants (CDCA) - OAC 4758-6-01

Under the rule, a chemical dependency counselor assistant (CDCA) can provide family counseling within their scope of practice in addition to treatment planning, assessment, crisis intervention, individual counseling, group counseling, case management, and education services. Previously, a CDCA could not provide family counseling to their patients.

Code of Ethics for Chemical Dependency Counselors - OAC 4758-8-01

The amended rule sets forth the minimum standards of practice for certified chemical dependency counselor assistants (CDCA), licensed chemical dependency counselors II (LCDCII), licensed chemical dependency counselors III (LCDCIII), licensed independent chemical dependency counselors (LICDC), licensed independent chemical dependency counselors-clinical supervisors (LICDC-CS), and those licensees who carry the gambling disorder endorsement.

Specifically, licensees or certificate holders should never discriminate against clients on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, national ancestry, genetic information, parental status, military status, socioeconomic status, political belief, psychiatric or psychological conditions, and disability, the amount of previous therapeutic or treatment occurrences, or against other persons that could be subject to discrimination but are not expressly protected by state or federal law. The amended rule adds gender identity or expression, genetic information, parental status, and military status as protected categories.

Further, the amended rule adds language imposing an obligation on licensees or certificate holders to protect the clients’ right to confidentiality. The amended rule says that confidential information may only be revealed to others when the clients, or other persons legally authorized to give consent on the behalf of the clients, have given their informed and written consent, unless there is a serious and current or imminent threat of harm to the client of others or as otherwise authorized by law.

The amended rule also states that licensees or certificate holders should maintain objective and non-possessive relationships with clients and not maintain a conflict of interest with any client, former client, family member of a client or a former client, or other person encountered in professional or non-professional settings, which may impair professional judgment, increase the risk of exploitation, or not be in the best interest of a client at any time.

Under the amended rule, a license or certificate holder is prohibited from engaging in any type of sexual conduct or sexual relationship with a current client and should never provide services to anyone in which they have had a prior sexual relationship. Additionally, a licensee or certificate holder is prohibited from having a sexual relationship or any form of sexual conduct with a former client within the two (2) years, at a minimum, following the termination of professional services. However, a licensee or certificate holder should never have a sexual relationship with a former client if such relationship is not in the best interest of the client or increases the risk of exploitation. Sexual conduct is any consensual or non-consensual contact with another person that a reasonable person may consider sexual or sexual in nature, including but not limited to: sexual relationship; sexual advance; sexual solicitation; request for a sexual favor; a text, picture, or video or social media post of a sexual nature; or any other verbal, non-verbal, or physical activity, contact, or conduct that is sexual or sexual in nature.

Further, under the amended rule, a licensee or certificate holder is explicitly prohibited from sexually harassing a client, or they risk the revocation of their license or certificate. Sexual harassment includes any activity, contact, or conduct that a reasonable person may consider offensive or harassing that is sexual or sexual in nature, including but not limited to: sexual advance; sexual solicitation; request for a sexual favor; a text, picture, or video or social media post of a sexual nature; or any other verbal, non-verbal, or physical activity, contact, or conduct that is sexually offensive or harassing.

Importantly, this amended rule now applies to licensees or certificate holders employed to work in any capacity in recovery housing. Residents in recovery housing are considered clients of the licensee or certificate holder.

Code of Ethics for Clinical Supervisors - OAC 4758-8-02

The purpose of this rule is to state the rules of conduct that apply to individuals who hold a valid independent chemical dependency counselor-clinical supervisor license (LICDC-CS), independent chemical dependency counselor license (LICDC) or chemical dependency counselor III license (LCDC III) during the performance of their clinical duties as supervisors.

The amended rule adds the requirement that supervision be maintained through regular face-to-face meetings, which could include video conferencing, with a supervisee or supervisees in group or individual sessions. Sessions should also include documentation of the content of the session, which should be signed by both the supervisor and supervisee if required by certifying or accrediting bodies.

Further, the amended rule adds language that supervision must be provided in a professional and consistent manner to all supervisees regardless of age, race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, religion, genetic information, parental status, military status, physical disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or belief, marital or social or economic socioeconomic status, psychiatric or psychological conditions, disability, or other identifying traits that could subject an individual to discrimination but are not expressly protected by state or federal law.

Please contact BMD Healthcare Member Daphne Kackloudis at dlkackloudis@bmdllc.com with any questions.


Corporate Transparency Act Update 3/14/24

On March 1, 2024, a federal district court in the Northern District of Alabama concluded that the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) exceeded Congressional powers and enjoined the Department of the Treasury from enforcing the CTA against the plaintiffs. National Small Business United v. Yellen, No. 5:22-cv-01448 (N.D. Ala.). On March 11, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice appealed the district court’s decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.