NYMHCA: Helping you to realize your professional dreams!
CLANY - our NYMHCA PAC!
NYMHCA has established a PAC (politcal action committee) so we can make dontaions to legislators' re-election campaigns and in that way alert legislators to the legislative needs and issues of Mental Health Counselors. All donations to legislative action will go to fund the PAC and help to promote our profession. To make a donation to the PAC, click on "CLANY" above or contact the NYMHCA office.
#143. Is there any consideration for how to bill for services provided licensed mental health counselors (LMHC)?
Medicaid reimburses for clinic services provided by licensed mental health counselors in the same manner as it reimburses for services provided by other licensed mental health practitioners.
HHS Issues Letter to Providers on Disclosures To Avert Threats to Health or Safety
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a letter to health care providers to ensure that they are aware of their ability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to take action, consistent with their ethical standards or other legal obligations, to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when they believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people.
The DSM-5 codes are now available to be used for billing since they use the ICD-9-CM Codes. This will be in effect until September 30, 2014 at which time the ICD-10-CM codes replace the ICD-9 codes. For more info about the DSM-5 go to:
LMHC's are mandated reporters for the Justice Center which was created to protect people with special needs who are abused by helping professionals. The law takes effect on June 30th, 2013, and as mandated reporters we should know how the reporting and investigating process will work.
For this information please read the foollowing document:
NCMHCE to Become a Tricare Certified Mental Health Counselor
TRICARE requires that MHC's graduate from CACREP accredited programs and have taken the NCMHC exam (our licensure exam) These requirements eliminate many qualified providers from beoming Certified Mental Health Counselors in the TRICARE system. If you did not graduate from a CACREP accredited graduate program and want to take the NCMHCE you have the option of doing so. The NBCC is allowing counselors to take the exam just for this purpose. To download the NCMHCE Military Registration Form, please click here.
Taking the licensure exam? NYMHCA offers exam prep workshops for individuals or small groups! Click on the link above for more info!
Final TRICARE Rules More Beneficial to LMHC's
Many LMHC's will benefit under the Final Rule published by the Department of Defense (DoD). The Final Rules apply to the TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselors (TCMHC) category. Several provisions included were those advocated for by the American Counseling Association over the last several years.
The Final Rule will finally allow LMHCs meeting specific criteria to operate as independent practitioners under TRICARE. This has been a key component in a joint effort to demonstrate parity among those providing mental health services. In addition, TRICARE is extending the transition period for meeting education, examination, and supervised clinical practice criteria to January 1, 2017. Without this extension, the window for eligibility would have ended in just over five months on December 31. With the extension, LMHC's will have had five full years to meet the criteria which include:
1. Possession of a master’s degree or higher from a mental health counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Education Programs (CACREP) and passage of the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE); OR,
2. Possession of a master’s degree or higher in counseling from a regionally accredited institution and passage of the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).
Another provision of the Final Rule will allow those in the Supervised Mental Health Counselor (SMHC) category to continue beyond the current December 31, 2014 deadline. The SMHC works via physician supervision and referral. Those counselors in this category were going to lose that status and no longer be able to practice within TRICARE. These practitioners will now have an indefinite extension.
Many of the changes in the Final Rule encompassed the recommendations which were advocated by ACA and other counseling organizations.
CAQH stands for the Council on Affordable Quality Healthcare and has always required a provider number from an insurance company in order for an LMHC to register with them. They have changed their policy and now allow those without numbers to apply. Check CAQH.org for more information.
You know that NYMHCA works first and foremost to advance our profession here in New York so you, our members, can have successful careers!
Crucial to the advancement of our profession is to have good representation in Albany. We have been very fortunate to have had lobbyist Heather Evans, of Hinman-Straub Advisors representing us and helping to pass recent legislation. Her work has also included the building of coalitions with other professions and strategies to accomplish our other professional goals.
During the years that Heather has represented us, Hinman-Straub has become predominant in representing the insurance industry. This has created a conflict of interest for Heather's work to represent NYMHCA in regard to insurance company issues. As a result, NYMHCA has hired Denise Murphy McGraw of Hill, Gosdeck and McGraw, to represent us on a part-time basis on issues related to insurance companies and their lack of inclusion of LMHC's. Denise and Heather already work together because Denise represents the marriage and family therapists. So now NYMHCA will be represented by two lobbyists in Albany!
More good news.....
See below a link to a press release from the State Attorney General's office. LMHC's are included in this announcement of a settlement with Value Options! Denise McGraw has already requested a meeting with Mr. Schneiderman to discuss the implications of the settlement.
Good News.........about NYMHCA's Representation in Albany
Successful 2015 Counselor Educator Meeting - April 17-18th!
On April 17th-18th, counselor educators from 31 graduate programs from around New York State met in Albany. Included on the agenda was a licensure exam overview presented by NYMHCA president-elect Diane Spizzirro, a social event on Friday evening, and the full meeting on Saturday. Presenters included Dr. David Hamilton of the Office of Professions, Dr. Mei Zhou and Ryan deOlde from the State Education Department, Dr. Dana Levitt and Dr. Robert Urofsky from CACREP and our lobbyist Heather Evans.
Dr. David Hamilton (in yellow shirt) addressing counselor educators
NYMHCA President Bob Eschenaur and Executive Director Judy Ritterman answering questions.
Dr. Dana Levitt and Dr. Robert Urofsky from CACREP during their presentation.
**For a review of NYMHCA's advocacy efforts for spring 2015 click HERE.
The DSM-5 was published in May of 2013, One feature of the DSM is that it aligns its codes to those of the ICD-10, which is the other diagnostic authority. There are approximately 70 diagnostic code errors in all DSM-5s printed and purchased before March of 2014. This October marks the full transition from DSM-IV-TR codes to the full adoption of DSM-5 codes. APA is not planning on sending out free corrected issues of the DSM-5. Therefore, it is up to each provider to know and make the changes. The changes are available through this link: http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org/pb/assets/raw/dsm/pdf/DSM-5%20Coding%20Update_Final.pdf