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Local Services Bulletin No. 2000-02: Initial Credentialing/Renewal Applications Which are Determined to Contain Falsified Documentation (Supersedes LSB 2000-01 Issued 04/04/2000)

Date Issued: September 25, 2000

RECIPIENTS

  • All Providers of OASAS Certified Services,
  • Local Governmental Units (LGUs)

PURPOSE

This policy has been developed as part of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services' (OASAS) statutory responsibility to ensure that credentialed counselors and prevention practitioners working within the OASAS service delivery system have demonstrated appropriate character and competence as to give reasonable assurance of their ability to function as a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), Credentialed Prevention Professional (CPP) and/or Credentialed Prevention Specialist (CPS) in accordance with accepted standards.

STATUTORY/REGULATORY AUTHORITY

NYS Mental Hygiene Law, Article 19; 14NYCRR Part 853
NYS Mental Hygiene Law, Article 19; 14NYCRR Part 855

BACKGROUND

OASAS is committed to enhancing the quality of services in New York State through the professional development of the alcoholism and substance abuse services workforce. To ensure that counselors and prevention practitioners who provide direct care and services in alcoholism and substance abuse programs are competent and ethical in their work and skilled in meeting the needs of today's society, OASAS issues professional credentials to individuals who meet specific eligibility requirements and pass appropriate examinations.

Since the inception of the CASAC in March 1997, OASAS has processed several thousand applications associated with initial credentialing and renewal. Although the vast majority of applications submitted contain valid documentation, OASAS has identified instances where initial credentialing/renewal applications contain falsified documentation. Knowingly filing a written instrument containing false information with the State is a crime.

POLICY

In cases where OASAS has identified documentation in an initial credentialing/renewal application which authenticity appears questionable, OASAS will conduct appropriate follow-up activities with the issuing organization to verify the validity of the documentation. If the documentation is found to be invalid, the applicant will be notified, in writing, of such determination. The applicant will be further advised that, in order to proceed with processing the current application, or any other application submitted to OASAS in the future, a satisfactory written explanation about the matter, with appropriate documentation to support the explanation, must be submitted to OASAS postmarked within 15 days of receipt of the notification. If the applicant does not respond by the stated deadline, or if the response is determined to be unsatisfactory, OASAS will notify the applicant that, as a result of OASAS' finding that falsified documentation was submitted, the application cannot be approved and that the following action will be taken:

Initial Credentialing

The applicant will:

  • be prohibited from applying to OASAS for any credential for a period of two years, commencing on the date of notification.

Renewal

The applicant will:

  • receive a letter of reprimand from OASAS;

  • be denied renewal and prohibited from reapplying for a period of one year, commencing on the date of notification;

  • when reapplying, submit documentation which supports 40 hours of education and training completed subsequent to the date of the notification. This training must include a minimum of 15 clock hours of OASAS-approved education and training related to ethical responsibilities for addictions professionals;

  • when reapplying, submit two Evaluations of Competency and Ethical Conduct. CASAC applicants will be required to have the evaluations completed by individuals who are current New York State CASACs or hold a current reciprocal-level certificate issued by another member board of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc. (ICRC/AODA). CPP and CPS applicants will be required to have the evaluations completed by individuals who are current New York State CPPs or hold a current reciprocal-level certificate issued by another member board of the ICRC/AODA;

  • when reapplying, be charged the appropriate Renewal Fee and all late fees accrued as a result of the actions; and

  • as with all late renewals, have a subsequent expiration date based on the expiration of the most recent registration period.

If the initial credentialing or renewal applicant is employed by an OASAS certified or funded provider, the provider will be notified of any action taken as a result of OASAS' finding that falsified documentation was submitted. This notification will ensure that providers are aware of the credentialed status of such individuals. In the case of OASAS certified providers, the notification will ensure that providers are not, unknowingly, out of compliance with regulatory staffing requirements as a result of a counselor's failure to notify the provider that such action has been taken by OASAS.

In addition to the above, based on the nature of the submission, the matter may also be subject to penalties otherwise authorized by law. The notification from OASAS will also include a statement detailing the reasons for the action and will advise that the applicant has 10 days from receipt of the notification to submit a written rebuttal to OASAS, detailing any objections, and including any additional information to be considered in support of those objections.,

Upon receipt of the written rebuttal and supporting information, or after 10 days from the date of the applicant's receipt of notification, whichever occurs first, OASAS will refer the matter to the appropriate Credentials Board for review. Following review of the written rebuttal and supporting information, if any, the Credentials Board will submit an appropriate recommendation to the OASAS Commissioner, for final determination. The applicant will be notified, in writing, of the Commissioner's determination and advised that a hearing may be requested within 10 days of receipt of the notification, as applicable. The Commissioner will review and consider all information, including the determination of the hearing officer, if any, and will render a decision on the case, which will be final.

CONCLUSION

OASAS is committed to administering a credentialing process that will demonstrate New York State's leadership in ensuring the highest quality care and services for chemically abusing and dependent persons, family members and others. Accordingly, implementation of this policy will take place immediately. This information should be shared with all program staff.

SOURCE(S) OF FURTHER INFORMATION

If you require further clarification of the issues detailed in this Bulletin, please contact the OASAS Credentialing Unit via e-mail or telephone 1 (800) 482-9564.

Copies of all active Local Services Bulletins are available on the OASAS Web Site.

/s/ Paul S. Puccio