Education Required for Addiction Counselor Credentialing

Pennsylvania credentials three types of addiction counselors. A Certified Associate Addiction Counselor requires a high school diploma, 300 hours of relevant education courses and 300 hours of supervised experience. A Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor requires a bachelor’s degree, 300 hours of relevant education courses and 300 hours of supervised experience. A Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor requires a master’s degree, 180 hours of relevant education courses and 300 hours of supervised practice. Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 28 §704 and Pennsylvania Certification Board

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Licensed Professional Counselor Ability to Diagnose

Licensed professional counselors may assess patients, provide therapy and/or psychotherapy, family therapy and group therapy consistent with the counselor’s education and training. Diagnostic ability is not outlined in statute. Pa. Code §49.13

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Number of Nurse Practitioners Prescribing Buprenorphine

As of August 2018, 184 NPs in Pennsylvania have received a federal waiver to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine-containing products. Consistent with their prescriptive authority and with proper training or appropriate experience NPs can receive a federal waiver to dispense buprenorphine-containing products, as long as the supervising physician is certified, trained, or permitted to treat and manage patients with opioid use disorder. Pa. Code §49.21.284

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Number of Physician Assistants Prescribing Buprenorphine

As of August 2018, 82 PAs in Pennsylvania have received a federal waiver to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine-containing products. A Pennsylvania PA may prescribe Schedules II-V controlled substances if delegated by a supervising physician. Pennsylvania PAs with proper training or appropriate experience can receive a federal waiver to dispense buprenorphine-containing products, as long as the supervising physician is certified, trained, or permitted to treat and manage patients with opioid use disorder. Pa. Code §49.18.158

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Peer Support Specialist Certification or Credentialing Authority

The standards and requirements for certification of a peer support specialists, recovery specialists, or family recovery specialists are developed and administered by a third-party, non-profit certification provider.

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Practice Authority

Written collaboration agreement required, and the agreement must be signed by both the NP and the physician and agree to the details of their collaboration. Pa. Code §49.21.251

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Prescriptive Authority

Drugs and therapeutic measures available for prescribing must be outlined in the written collaboration agreement and relevant to the NP’s specialty. The NP may prescribe Schedule II-V controlled substances. Pa. Code §49.21.284

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Nurse Practitioner as a Primary Care Provider

NPs are recognized in state policy as primary care providers. There are six patient populations the State Board of Nursing designates for NPs to focus including neonatal, pediatrics, family/across the life span, adult/gerontology, women’s health/gender-related and psychiatric/mental health. Pa. Code §49.21.801

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Authority to perform ophthalmic procedures

Optometrists may only perform procedures related to foreign body removal and the examination, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of the human eye. Pa. Code §49.23.3

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Injectable Authority

Optometrists may use epinephrine auto-injectors for anaphylaxis. Optometry Practice Act, Act 130, Section 2

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Prescription of controlled substances

Optometrists may prescribe Schedule III-V controlled substances and Schedule II controlled substances containing hydrocodone combinations. The prescription for hydrocodone combinations cannot exceed a 72-hour supply.  Optometry Practice Act, Act 130, Section 2

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Dental Hygienists with Direct Access

A certified public health dental hygiene practitioner may provide care in a variety of public health settings without the supervision or prior authorization of a dentist. The dental hygienist must have 3,600 hours of practice experience and liability insurance. PA Code §33.205b

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Dental Therapists

Statute does not identify dental therapists as an oral health provider.

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Practice of Teledentistry

Pennsylvania does not explicitly allow for the practice of teledentistry.

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Administration of COVID-19 Vaccine

Pennsylvania has not enacted legislation allowing pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the federal PREP Act does allow pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine through the duration of the public health emergency.

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Prescription Adaptation

Pennsylvania does not allow pharmacists to modify prescriptions.

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Prescription of Hormonal Contraceptives

Pennsylvania does not allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives.

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Prescription of Tobacco Cessation Aids

Pennsylvania does not allow pharmacists to prescribe tobacco cessation aids.

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Supervision Requirements

A written agreement between the supervising physician and the PA is required. The agreement must include the manner of supervision and the location of the practice setting, among other items. The agreement must be approved by the State Medical Board. Pa. Code §49.18.142

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Prescriptive Authority for Physician Assistants

A PA may prescribe drugs, devices and Schedules II-V controlled substances if delegated by the supervising physician. Pa. Code §49.18.158

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Scope of Practice Determination

State regulations outline services a PA may provide to patients. The medical services must be delegated by the supervising physician if the services are within the PA’s skills, training and experience, and outlined in the written agreement. Pa. Code §49.18-151

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