indiana counseling association
Governor's Proclamation: Counseling Awareness Month (April 2021)
COUNSELING COMPACT SUPPORT LETTER (3/15/21)
Governor's Proclamation: Minority Mental Health Month (July 2020)
CURRENT LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
Telehealth Provider Certification
The Telehealth Provider Certification is required by Indiana Code 25-1-9.5. Any out of state practitioner, and their employer, wishing to practice telehealth in Indiana must file a certification with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. This certification is to ensure that the practitioner and their employer voluntarily agree to be subject to the jurisdiction of Indiana courts and Indiana substantive and procedural laws concerning the care of an individual who is located in Indiana at the time of the services. Practitioners who are licensed in the state of Indiana do not have to file a certification, but can do so if they wish. Those with an Associate license are not eligible to file a certification, but this does not preclude them from practicing telehealth. A Telehealth Provider Certification can be filed online here: https://www.in.gov/pla/professions/telemedicine/
Mental Health Diagnosis
SEA 82, Mental Health Diagnosis, permits masters level licensed professionals (LCSW, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT) to diagnose mental health disorders. This is a long time in coming and will enhance workforce expertise and productivity. As a result of this bill, over 10,000 clinicians will now be able to diagnose mental health conditions. With 74 or the 92 counties considered mental health professional shortage areas and 70% of the counties in Indiana currently having insufficient or no access to psychiatrists, this bill will increase the number of clinicians who can diagnose and provide treatment in a timely way.
See more information about this bill here: https://www.hannah-in.com/ShowDocument.aspx?BTextID=191281
Governor Holcomb, Lt Governor Crouch, and the members of the Indiana General Assembly assisted to the Full Restoration of funding for Mental Health and Addiction programs!
Recovery Works and the appropriation of an additional
$100M over the biennium to fund mental health initiatives are included!
At a time of great need, the Budget Bill (HB 1001), as introduced, made over $26M in cuts for the biennium to mental health and addiction services. These cuts would have severely and negatively impacted the behavioral health service delivery system in Indiana. Thanks to the strong advocacy effort by mental health and addiction advocates, key legislators, and state leadership, the Indiana General Assembly has successfully restored ALL of the introduced cuts--including full restoration for Recovery Works! In addition, HB 1001 would appropriate an additional $100M over the biennium to fund mental health initiatives!
To read more about the proposed state budget bill, please read below:
House Bill 1001: STATE BUDGET - Appropriates money for capital expenditures, the operation of the state, K-12 and higher education, the delivery of Medicaid and other services, and various other distributions and purposes. Replaces the governor with the budget director or the budget director's designee on the state board of finance. Renames the personal services/fringe benefits contingency fund as the budget agency contingency fund (fund).
Bipartisan legislation that would include licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), as well as licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), as Medicare providers, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2021, HR 432, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Representative John Katko (R-NY).
This bipartisan legislation would require Medicare to finally recognize LMHCs as Medicare-eligible providers of covered behavioral health services to older adults and other Medicare beneficiaries.
On Tuesday 2/9/2021 SB 82 Mental Health Diagnosis unanimously passed the full Senate on 3rd Reading - we are now half-way through the Legislative process in Indiana.
For more information, please contact the ICA Legislative Committee Chair Angelica Arreola, M.A., LCPC (IL), LMHC (IN) at Hello@Benchmark-Counseling.com.
ICA EFFORTS TOWARDS RACIAL INJUSTICE, DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
PAST LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
AMHCA webinar: Medicare Grassroots Advocacy (5/13/20)-- an update on the Medicare legislation and guidance on what needs to happen now to include our bill in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.
Senate Bill 142:
Synopsis: Medicaid reimbursement for schools. Specifies services for which a school corporation may seek Medicaid reimbursement. Adds physical therapy to the list of services a school psychologist may refer a student. Allows school psychologists to make referrals to physical therapists for mandated school services. Effective: July 1, 2020.
AMERICAN COUNSELING ASSOCIATION RELEASES 2020 POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS - 11/11/20
2020 has been a historic year— and this November, many Americans are looking to those in Congress and those in the White House to lead the country, protect the courts and make progress on issues like climate change, health care, racial justice, and a post-COVID economy.
The 2020 election determines who those leaders are, and not just in Congress or in the White House. With 435 House seats, 35 Senate seats, and 13 gubernatorial seats up for grabs, more is at stake than ever.
See full document here: 1042020-gapp-aca-post-election-analysis.pdf
AMERICAN COUNSELING ASSOCIATION ADVOCACY POWER HOURS
Rep. Mike Thompson, US Congressman -- Mental Health Access Improvement Act bill (HR945), Medicare coverage for licensed counselors
Dr. Matthew Fullen- Due to his research, 70% of practicing counselors had been impacted by the Medicare mental health coverage gap
Medicare is the primary insurance provider for approx. 60 million Americans* and the number of beneficiaries are expected to surpass 80 million by 2030** (*Kaiser Family Foundation, 2019; **Medicare Payment Advisory Commission)
Duane France, VA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: LPMHC training programs, Mental Health Education Expansion Initative Phase VII 2020-2021 (https://www.va.gov/OAA/docs/RFP_MH_Education_Expansion_Phase_VII.pdf)