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NYMHCA: Helping you to realize your professional dreams!

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.


Are mental health counselors Medicaid reimbursable if they work in state, or state funded agencies?  Finally we have an official answer!

NYS Office of Mental Health Clinic FAQ’s  - 2/12

Scroll through the document to question 143:

#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.

To read the letter click here.
Signed Into Law!

 ~ Limited Permit Extension

       - This law extends the limited permit period of an initial 2 years with a 1 year extension, to an additional 
          year extension if needed. The extension is already in effect.

 ~ Continuing Education Requirement:S.5086 - 

       - This law calls for a 36 hour continuing education requirement in order for LMHC's to renew their 
          licenses every 3 years. NY is one of only 4 states that did NOT require some form of continuing 
          education.  The requirement will begin in 2017 but the regulations are being worked on now.  

Now the work resumes on this most important piece of legislation!

 ~ Diagnosis:  S.4977 - Sponsored by St. Sen. Robach  
        - This bill calls for the inclusion of the word "diagnosis" in our scope of  practice.  There is much 
          opposition to this bill and it is not expected to pass during the 2014 legislative session. 

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:


 ~  The DSM-5 website is at:
 ~  DSM-5 Patient Assessment Measures to be researched are avaibable at:    


NYS Justice Center

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:


Online training for Mandated Reporters:
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.
2014 Convention!  A Huge Success!
General Info -

Mandated Reporter -

VPCR hotline -

Out-of-state placements -

Surrogate Decision Making -

NYS Loan Repayment Program

Click  HERE for information on the NYS program that assists LMHC's in repaying student loans if they work in underserved areas of the state.

Also see the link to the federal program that also helps in student loan repayment.  
  There were 353 counselors, educators and students in Albany for the April 11-13th  
     Convention!   This was our biggest convention by far!  A dynamic roster of workshops 
     and presentations were praised for their relevance to the needs of counselors and the 

~   Keynote speaker, Dr. Shannon Hodges urged everyone to think outside the box for our 
     counseling careers.

  Our Saturday evening social event included good food, make your own Sundae's and a 
     crowded dance floor!

~   The 4 Student Assistants helped make the weekend a success by providing assistance 
     to presenters and NYMHCA leaders. They also looked cool with their walkie-talkie ear 
     pieces.  :)

~   Mark your calendars now and join us for our next convention April 15-17th, 2016!!
Some of the 300 counselors who attended the Dessert Reception and Panel Discussion
Dr. Joseph Franco, NYMHCA president, presented the Deborah Arundale Award of Service to Dr. Thomas Nardi
Rick Ferguson presented Joshua Maldonado, president of the NYMHCA Rochester Chapter with the Thomas Clawson Award for Leadership
Sue LaSala and Bob Raneiri from Long Island NYMHCA, accepted the award for Outstanding Chapter
Corinne Weinman presented Farhana Begum with the Outstanding Student Award
Empire BC/BS now accept LMHC's!!!

Here is the confirmation letter to our member Tom Rue, from a BC/BS administrator dated 5/27/14:

Empire has opened its BH network up to LMHCs and LMFTs. 
For any providers looking to join with the last names starting with A-L please have them contact Robert Martin at ..

For any providers looking to join with the last names starting from M-Z please have them contact Brenda Spence at
For those of you who do not live/work in the Empire BC/BS catchement area, please contact BC/BS of Western NY and Excellus (BC/BS of Central and Northeastern NY), tell them that Empire has changed their policy and ask to be credentialled by them.  They will tell you no, and then you can ask to lodge a complaint.  For guidelines on how to lodge a complaint with an insurance company, contact us:

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.

New Advocacy Center Website!

We are excited to announce the opening of our new website that is exclusively for the legislative and other professional issues that mental health counselors and our sister professions face.  Click on the link to the left to go to the new site which is still under construction.  Please send us your feedback.


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 for more information.