About Us | Chapters | Advertising | Join
The BBS recently clarified important aspects of its interpretation of SB 425. You may recall that SB 425 is a 2020 law requiring health care facilities (and other entities in which healing arts licensees practice) receiving written allegations from patients or patients' representatives regarding sexual abuse or misconduct perpetrated by therapists or other healing arts licensees to report the allegations to the healing arts licensees' licensing boards within 15 days. For more information regarding this requirement, see the BBS' SB 425 FAQ.
The BBS recently clarified that:
1) Therapists are required to report the written allegations specified above even if they do not have the allegedly offending healing arts licensees' names or other identifying information. For example, if a health care facility receives a written allegation from a patient stating that they were sexually abused by an MFT who used to treat them, the facility would have to report that information to the BBS within 15 days even if it does not have the MFT's name, license number, etc.
2) SB 425 requires health care facilities to report written allegations from patients or patients' representatives regarding sexual abuse or misconduct perpetrated by healing arts licensees to the licensees' boards. Per BBS, licensed therapists and registered associates constitute "licensees" under Business and Professions Code Sections 23.7 and 23.8. However, trainees do not fall under this definition. Accordingly, the SB 425 mandated reporting requirement does not apply to written allegations regarding sexual abuse or misconduct perpetrated by MFT, CSW, and PCC trainees.
That said, per Business and Professions Code Section 728, if a therapist or the employer of a therapist becomes aware through a patient of alleged sexual contact, behavior, or intercourse involving the patient and a previous psychotherapist, including a trainee, during a prior course of treatment, the therapist or employer must: 1) provide the patient with the brochure Therapy Never Includes Sexual Behavior; and 2) discuss the brochure with the patient.
Note: The information above addresses key elements of the BBS' interpretation of SB 425. If a health care facility receives a written allegation from a patient or a patient's representative regarding sexual abuse or misconduct by a licensed psychologist, the facility should call the Board of Psychology at (916) 574-7720 to verify its SB 425 reporting procedures. If the written allegations are made against a licensed psychiatrist, the facility should consult the Medical Board of California by calling (800) 633-2322.
Return to Newsletter