Mental health licensing, credentialing, and training, including addiction and recovery

Kaiser Permanente requires specific licensing, credentialing, and training for our providers in order to treat our members for mental health conditions, including the treatment of substance use disorders.

Licensing and credentialing

Contracted mental health practitioners must be licensed to practice independently and board-certified or board-eligible (as appropriate) in the state in which they practice.

Contracted facilities for the treatment of substance use disorders must be licensed by the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS), Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, or by the state in which the program resides.

Practitioners and facilities must be credentialed by Kaiser Permanente to provide services to our members. Kaiser Permanente may delegate responsibility for credentialing staff to qualified health delivery organizations.


Practitioners must meet state requirements for training and must maintain their license over the course of their contract with us. Kaiser Permanente Mental Health and Wellness or Mental Health Access Center prefers that continuing education include training related to services provided in a managed care environment such as:

  • Brief treatment
  • Cognitive behavioral treatments
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) training

All contracted practitioners must use the most current DSM and demonstrate knowledge of its use. Contracted chemical dependency professionals (CDPs) must have the knowledge, understanding, and ability to practice the principles set forth by ASAM. All contracted CDPs must use the most current ASAM Placement Criteria and demonstrate knowledge of their use.

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