FMHCA's lobbyist has secured a commitment from Senator Danny Burgess, who will be filing a bill that:
FMHCA is in talks with a congressman who is interested in filing a companion bill in the House. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about the bill being filed.
The big news with respect to federal legislation is that the Mental Health Access Improvement Act was passed via the fiscal year (FY) 2023 omnibus package H.R.2617, titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, and the act has been signed into law by President Biden. Effective 1/1/24, counselors and marriage and family therapists will be eligible to file claims as Medicare providers. Between now and then, AMHCA and NBCC will be advising CMS while rules are written about counselors and Medicare. We are concerned that CMS may restrict counselors to CPT codes related to psychotherapy, possibly excluding CPT codes for psychological testing. If this were to happen, TriCare and commercial insurance companies could use CMS's rules to justify excluding counselors from reimbursement for testing, and parties wishing to exclude counselors from testing may use those rules to lobby for statutes excluding counselors from testing. Conversely, if CMS permits counselors access to testing codes, the scope of practice for counselors may be protected (and perhaps expanded in some state). We will continue monitoring this issue and providing updates.
Happy New Year. Thanks for always keeping this top of mind with our group. It's nice to know that I can check into the SMHCA board to get a monthly refresh. #TimeSaver
SunCoast Mental Health Counselors Association
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