- Education Required for Addiction Counselor Credentialing
Colorado credentials three types of addiction counselors. A licensed addiction counselor (LAC) must have a master’s or doctorate degree in the behavioral health sciences, passed the master addiction counselor examination administered by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, completed the number of clock hours of addiction-specific training, as specified by the board by rule, including training in evidence-based treatment approaches, clinical supervision, ethics, and co-occurring disorders and completed at least 2,000 direct clinical hours of clinically supervised work experience in the addiction field.
A certified addiction specialist (CAS) must have a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral health concentration or human services equivalent, completed at least 3,000 hours of supervised clinic work hours over a minimum of 18 months, passed an examination and passed the national certification addiction counselor level II examination administered by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.
A certified addiction technician (CAT) must have a high school diploma, completed at least 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience over a minimum of six months, passed an examination and passed the national certification addiction counselor level I examination administered by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.
An individual may receive a certification as an addiction counselor if they have met the requirements for certification as a certified addiction technician or a certified addiction specialist.
- Licensed Professional Counselor Ability to Diagnose
Licensed professional counselors may provide mental health, psychological, or human development services through cognitive, affective, behavioral, or systematic intervention strategies that address wellness, personal growth, or career development, as well as pathology. A licensed professional counselor may render the application of these principles to individuals, couples, families, or groups. Services may also include, but is not limited to, evaluation, assessment, testing, diagnosis, treatment and psychotherapy. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-245-603
- Number of Nurse Practitioners Prescribing Buprenorphine
As of August 2018, 116 NPs in Colorado 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 an NP with full practice authority can receive a federal waiver to dispense buprenorphine-containing products. An NP with provisional prescriptive authority may be able to receive a federal waiver with proper training or experience and with a mentoring physician who is certified, trained, or permitted to treat and manage patients with opioid use disorder. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-38-111.6 and 3 Colo. Code Regs. § 716-1-15
- Number of Physician Assistants Prescribing Buprenorphine
As of August 2018, 52 PAs in Colorado have received a federal waiver to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine-containing products. A Colorado PA may prescribe drugs and controlled substances when supervised and delegated by a physician. With proper training or appropriate experience a PA in Colorado 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. 3 Colo. Code Regs. § 713-7-400
- Peer Support Specialist Certification or Credentialing Authority
As outlined in Colorado state law, peer support specialists self-identify as having experienced the process of recovery from a mental health disorder, substance use disorder, trauma, or one or all of such conditions, either as a consumer of recovery services or as the parent or a family member of the consumer. They have successfully completed formal training covering all content areas outlined in the core competencies for peer support professionals established by either the state department or the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They also provide nonclinical support services that align with recommendations from SAMHSA, including engaging individuals in peer-to-peer relationships that support healing, personal growth, life skills development, self-care, and crisis-strategy development to help achieve recovery, wellness, and life goals.
Training, credentialing, and certification for peer specialists are not set out by state law and the process is currently provided by third-party, nonprofit certification providers. Colo. Rev. Stat. §27-60-108
- Authority to Sign POLST Forms
NPs are authorized to sign medical orders for scope of treatment forms. Colo. Rev. Stat. §15-18.7-103(i)
- Practice Authority
An advanced practice registered nurse shall practice in accordance with the standards of the appropriate national professional nursing organization and have a safe mechanism for consultation or collaboration with a physician or, when appropriate, referral to a physician. Advanced practice registered nursing also includes, when appropriate, referral to other health-care providers. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-255-111
- Prescriptive Authority
An NP is authorized by the State Board of Nursing to prescribe drugs after certain requirements are met, including educational classes and a preceptorship. Upon conclusion of meeting the requirements, provisional authority may be granted and the NP may prescribe drugs and Schedule II-V controlled substances. A mentorship with a physician or NP with full prescriptive authority must be completed within three years after receiving provisional authority. An articulated plan for safe prescribing must also be developed in the mentorship. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-255-112 and Colo. Board of Nursing Rules Chapter 15
- Nurse Practitioner as a Primary Care Provider
NPs are recognized in state policy as primary care providers. The NP must practice within a specific population focus (e.g. neonatal, pediatric, women’s health, adult, family, mental health). Colo. Board of Nursing Rules Chapter XIV 1.10
- 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. Additional allowable procedures are authorized by statute. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-275-103(1)
- Injectable Authority
- Prescription of controlled substances
Optometrists may prescribe Schedule III-V controlled substances and also Schedule II hydrocodone or hydrocodone combination medications. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-275-103(1)
- Dental Hygienists with Direct Access
Dental hygienists may perform most of their authorized procedures without supervision. However, dental hygienists must be supervised by a licensed dentist when preparing study casts, administering local anesthesia, or placing interim therapeutic restorations. Colorado law also allows dental hygienist to own a dental hygiene practice and authorizes unsupervised dental hygienists to prescribe fluoride supplements, some topical anti-carries treatments, and some topical anti-infectives in collaboration with a dentist. A dental hygienist may prescribe and apply silver diamine fluoride after meeting certain requirements. Colo. Rev. Stat. §12-220
- Dental Therapists
Statute does not identify dental therapists as an oral health provider.
- Practice of Teledentistry
Colorado Medicaid allows for the practice and reimbursement of an interim therapeutic restoration in teledentistry. Colo. Rev. Stat. §25.5-5-321.5
- Administration of COVID-19 Vaccine
Colorado 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.
- Prescription Adaptation
Pharmacists may make minor prescriptions adaptions including changes to prescribed dosages and quantities if the change achieves the intent of the original prescriptions. The pharmacist must document the adaption, the justification for the change and notify the prescribing practitioner. (Bill enacted in 2021. Statute not yet updated)
- Prescription of Hormonal Contraceptives
A pharmacist must complete a training course in the subject area of hormonal contraception drug therapy and must include instruction in specific content areas. A written protocol for hormonal contraception drug therapy must be approved by the Board of Pharmacy. (Bill enacted in 2021. Statute not yet updated)
- Prescription of Tobacco Cessation Aids
A pharmacist must complete a training course in the subject area of tobacco cessation drug therapy and must include instruction in specific content areas. A written protocol for tobacco cessation drug therapy must be approved by the Board of Pharmacy. Colo. Rev. Stat. §10-16-144
- Supervision Requirements
The State Medical Board establishes supervision requirements for new PA graduates, experienced PAs new to a practice setting, and all other PAs. The supervising physician must provide periodic assessment of a PA. Colo. Code Regs. §3-713, Rule 400, Sec. 2(B)2-3, (C)5-6
- Prescriptive Authority for Physician Assistants
A PA may prescribe drugs and controlled substances when supervised and delegated by a physician. Colo. Code Regs. §3-713, Rule 400, Sec. 3
- Scope of Practice Determination
The supervising physician delegates medical procedures and services to a PA. Delegated services must be consistent with the physician’s education, training, experience and active practice. Colo. Code Regs. §3-713, Rule 400, Sec. 2
Most Recent Colorado SOP Legislative Search Results
H 1278 : Behavioral Health Administration
Concerns the creation of the behavioral health administration, makes and…
Subject: Addiction Counselors
H 1095 : Physician Assistant Collaboration Requirements
Concerns an expansion of a physician assistant's ability to practice,…
Subject: PA Supervision Requirements
S 219 : Regulate Dental Therapists
Concerns the regulation of dental therapists, appropriates funds.
Subject: Dental Therapists
H 1305 : Mental Health Practice Act
Concerns the practice of mental health professionals, and, in connection…
Subject: Addiction Counselors
H 1184 : Physician Assistant Collaboration And Reimbursement
Concerns physician assistants, establishes requirements for health benefit plans concerning…
Subject: PA Supervision Requirements
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