Federal Legislation Update
The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), our parent chapter on a national level, issued a call to action to all members to contact their legislators in support of HR 945, which would give counselors and marriage and family therapists Medicare billing privileges. This is first time in U.S. history that a standalone bill for Medicare parity has been voted on by a legislative committee (two, in fact)! Its companion bill in the Senate, S.286, is currently on hold as the Senate does not wish to take action until the bill has passed in the House. This makes contact with your congressional representatives vital!
Federal Government Creates Government Occupational Code for Mental Health Counselors
President Trump signed S.785 into law, adding mental health counselors to the federal occupational code system. Implications include increased career opportunities for mental health counselors working in the federal government and significantly improved inclusion of mental health counselors in federal government agency activities involving the mental health professions. The bill could even make it easier for counselors to get Medicare parity and to be able to serve as service members in the military in the sense that the bill would make it easier for government agencies to hire counselors. Read the attached details from AMHCA for more.
How the 2020 Election Might Impact Our Profession
AMHCA recently held a leadership summit providing an update on how the 2020 election might impact our profession. I attached two slideshow presentations from AMHCA with additional details. Also, AMHCA, ACES, and NAADAC partnered on a Facebook Live Event entitled “2020 Election: Managing Valuers Conflicts Post-Election.” Check out the video recording by clicking here.
State Legislation Update
I attached an update from Corinne Mixon, the lobbyist for FMHCA, on state election results that are pertinent to our field. Additionally, FMHCA is still working on a COVID-19 mental health bill (discussed in greater detail in last month’s legislative update), and I will be providing additional results as soon as the bill is written.
SunCoast Mental Health Counselors Association
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