Call to Action for Medicare Provider Recognition of Mental Health Counselors

Advocate for HR 3032 by contacting your member in the House of Representatives now and attend AMHCA’s 2017 Hill Day
Make your voice heard. Support our bill: HR 3032 which will allow Mental Health Counselors to bill Medicare beneficiaries for treatments provided to seniors. AMHCA offers a suggested template for letters to your Representative.
Find our suggested template with instructions on how to message your legislators. Send your message on POPVOX.
Attend Hill Day 2017 and advocate for your profession in person!
Register for AMHCA’s Annual Conference and make the case face-to-face to your members of congress why this is so important. This is a major opportunity to join your professional colleagues on July 27th to meet with your elected officials and strongly advocate for Medicare reimbursement. We will arrange the meetings with your elected officials and prepare all the materials you need to make the case. Don’t let this opportunity slip away.

NBCC Announces A Proposed Uniform Portability Plan for Professional Counselors

PRESS RELEASE: June 5, 2017

COUNSELING ORGANIZATIONS PROPOSE PORTABILITY PROCESS TO INCREASE ACCESS TO CARE

WASHINGTON, DC – A groundbreaking collaborative effort of four major professional counseling organizations aimed at improving access to quality mental health care nationwide has resulted in a proposed uniform portability plan called the National Counselor Licensure Endorsement Process.

The four organizations – the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB), the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) – believe that a uniform licensure endorsement process will:

  • Significantly increase public access to qualified care.
  • Establish minimum standards for safe practice.
  • Reduce administrative burdens for state regulatory boards and licensees.
  • Create consistency in licensure standards across state lines.
  • Ensure protection of the public and the continued development of the profession.

An overarching goal of the initiative is to move the counseling profession toward unified education standards, exam requirements and years of postgraduate experience. To see the National Counselor Licensure Endorsement Process, please go to http://www.amhca.org/portability2017.

Behavioral Health Provider Educational Seminars

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are offering a seminar for behavioral health providers. Topics covered will include many of the applications available through Blue Cross and BCN Provider Secured Services, including e-referral, Benefit Explainer, and Provider Enrollment and Change Self-Service. You only need to attend one educational conference as the same information will be provided (June 6 or October 3).

Location: BCN Commons – Auditorium A at 20500 Civic Center Drive, Southfield, MI 48076

BehavioralHealthProviderInvite2017

Let’s Keep The Momentum Going Forward!

The new year is upon us!  This is the time of year we generally prepare ourselves for ambitious plans, renewing commitments and eliminating clutter.  We have high expectations and great hope for an exciting year that offers us plenty of opportunities to grow and be better versions of ourselves.
In this same spirit, I am very excited to serve as the current president of the Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association, standing on the shoulders of past presidents  that served as impactful leaders in the field of counseling, it is both a privilege and honor to share in those efforts.  We currently have one of the best leadership teams in the state of Michigan that make up the board of MMHCA.  Day in and day out our Executive and General board invests meaningful time, great energy and a wealth of ideas to contribute to the growth of Professional Counselors across the state.  This upcoming year, the MMHCA team is very excited to put our best foot forward in offering Professional Counselors statewide one of the best membership experiences.
MMHCA’s mission is to develop and empower the mental health counseling profession and promote mental health for the community.  This year we intend to offer more diverse programming and supportive networking events that help members connect to like-minded professionals in the field, and develop relationships that can help impact their role as professional counselors.  These events help to bring us together and hear other voices from across the state and learn how we may support each other in the work that we do.  Truly we will accomplish much more as cohesive members of the profession instead of being fractured and spread out without any connection.
Not only do we intend to make meaningful strides in programming, we plan to continue working hard on the advocacy and legislative needs of professional counselors.  Over the past few years the leadership of MMHCA has been able to partner with key lobbying efforts to advocate on behalf of the professional counselor.  The significance of our voice is dependent upon our membership, the more we grow in numbers, the stronger and more solidified our voice becomes.   We need your membership and support to continue to strive for public policy initiatives that serve our professions interest, parity, and portability for our profession.  We are proud to represent and advocate for you the members of MMHCA, as well as, the future members of this great organization.
It is a great time to be a professional counselor in the state of Michigan. We continue to work on projects that have been started years ago, while starting a very worthwhile movement to positively impact our profession. B.F. Skinner said, “It is not a question of starting.  The start has been made.  It is a question of what is to be done from now on”.
We need your help to keep the momentum moving forward!

Courageously,

Napoleon Harrington MA, LPC, NCC 

Human Trafficking Information

There has been much confusion regarding the required training standards by the new Michigan Law regarding Human Trafficking.

It is difficult to determine what you are obligated to take to meet the state requirements.  If your only goal is to meet the minimum standards, then our training is probably not for you.

MMHCA decided to offer the best workshop available based on the laws outline. We created the best possible training available. Here is how we did it.

Dr. Jeremy Norwood who is on the faculty at Spring Arbor University was approached to develop the workshop. He used the stated language from the bill and developed an outline. We then looked at his extensive knowledge of the topic and decided to have him produce a powerful workshop based on his knowledge and experiences.

Go to our website for more information regarding Dr. Norwood and what you will learn in the workshop.

In addition to his extensive work in this arena, every year he takes a group of students to Asia to study Human Trafficking. Dr. Norwood is presently in Cambodia with a group of students studying the sociological impact and its connection to US trafficking.

Those that have taken the workshop describe it as powerful and intense. They walk away with a greater understanding of the major impact and possible strategies for intervention.

Please consider our offering. It will change your life for the better. In addition, it qualifies for 6 hours of CEU’s and a certificate to prove your participation.

We encourage health professionals and graduate students to use our workshops for the best quality training in Michigan.

Your Senators and Medicare Inclusion

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NBCC needs your help in obtaining Medicare reimbursement for counselors. It is expected that the Senate will consider mental health reform legislation during the post-election lame duck session, and we need our Medicare language from S. 1830 included in that package.

We urge you to call, e-mail or visit your senators ASAP. All contact is helpful and the more we can generate, the more likely that counselor Medicare coverage will become law.

Your senators are: Gary Peters (202-224-6221) and Debbie Stabenow (202-224-4822)

Action: Please call your senators today and urge them to include S. 1830 in mental health reform legislation. Not sure what to say? Feel free to use some or all of the message below:

“My name is [name] and I am a mental health counselor living in [city, state]. I am calling to urge Senator [name] to push for inclusion of language making mental health counselors Medicare providers in the mental health reform legislation. Expanding access to mental health professionals is critical to improving the health care delivery system and needs to be part of the package. Please make inclusion of S. 1830 a priority in the reform debate and thank you for your support.”

Please let us know, at advocacy@nbcc.org, what actions you take and any response you receive.

Thank you for your help!

Sincerely,

NBCC Advocacy Department

National Board for Certified Counselors
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, NC 27403
Phone: 336.547.0607 | Fax: 336.547.0017 | Visit our website

Mahabir Wellness Mental Health Counselor Opportunity

Mental Health Counselor – Job Description

Provides excellent service, accurately assess and counsel person-centered approach for all clients.  Should be experienced in counseling clients through life transitions ranging from the exciting – like getting married, beginning a family or starting a new career – or the challenging – like divorce, infertility or job loss, for the goal to help clients improve mental health, strengthen relationships with others and enhance overall wellness.  Licensed & insured in Michigan.  Should be experienced with managed care organizations and well-established mental health practitioners including Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers and other Mental Health Counselors. Interest working with adolescents and adults preferred.  Applicants should be able to bring new ideas and improvements to business practices; remain fair, respectful, ethical and moral in all situations; and work well both independently and as part of a team.

If interested in applying for the Mental Health Counselor opportunity, please send cover letter and resume or curriculum vitae to:

Mahabir Wellness

Attn: Ms. Gita Mahabir

1640 Haslett Road, Suite 100

Haslett, MI 48840

Or e-mail to: mahabirg1@gmail.com

Social Security Mental Disorders Rule Update

Mental Disorders Rule Update

Woman with documents sitting on the deskOn Monday, September 26, Social Security will publish a final rule to update the criteria we use to evaluate disability claims involving mental disorders. This rule, “Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders,” is the most comprehensive revision to the criteria since 1985.

Upon publishing this final rule, our standards and terminology for evaluating claims involving mental disorders reflect information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition — the mental health profession’s current standard classification of mental disorders.

While updating this rule, the public had questions about our criteria for evaluating intellectual disability. From childhood onward, people with intellectual disabilities experience deficits in intellectual functioning and lack many basic daily practical and social skills. We decided it was critical to ensure these individuals receive necessary assistance as soon as possible. Therefore, we updated the diagnostic and functional criteria for this disorder and are using IQ test score criteria to identify quickly people who may qualify for disability benefits based on an intellectual disability.

Besides reflecting comments from members of the public, the rule reflects the expertise of disability policy experts, adjudicators, psychiatric professionals, and vocational experts.

During the careful, considered process of updating the rule, we’ve engaged with stakeholders, including: disability beneficiaries and their family members; psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health treatment providers; and advocacy groups for those with mental disorders. We also solicited, responded to, and incorporated public comments, and considered an intellectual disability report we commissioned from the National Academy of Sciences.

People with mental disorders are some of the most vulnerable members in our society, and we take our duty to provide them with effective service and support seriously. Publishing this rule is just one way we’re meeting our priority to secure today and tomorrow for millions throughout life’s journey.

You can learn more about the rule here.

Important Message from TRICARE: Network Provider Application & Contract from ValueOptions Federal Services

Value optionstricare

DATE  04/15/2016
As you may be aware, our military family population is about to double (approximately 6 million) as we optimistically await award of the 2017 TRICARE® contract. In our work with TRICARE currently we are responding to the results of over ten years of active warfare, where military members and their families have endured the emotional whiplash of combat deployments coupled with brief respites and redeployments. Now, as we face the predicted mental health consequences, your clinical skill and expertise has never been more needed by your country.

Our Federal Network of mental health professionals has played a key role in the provision of world-class mental health and substance abuse services to the men and women of our military for nearly three decades. We see you as a critical partner and not simply a name on a provider directory. To that end, we will have provider representatives who can assist with any questions or issues you may have in order to minimize administrative burden for your staff. As a network provider, you will receive priority with regard to referrals so that you can maintain a patient/client base that meets your professional needs. You will have easy access to cutting-edge trainings, many of which will include free continuing education units. But most importantly, you will be part of a cadre of professionals who have vowed to make a difference for America.

We understand that there are innumerable competing priorities for your services, and that a professional practice requires a level of cash flow to meet those needs. Being fully aware of the necessity of payer mix, we only ask that you consider setting aside a small percentage of your practice time to help these people who have sacrificed so much for all of us.

ValueOptions® Federal Services is dedicated to providing quality customer service to our members and our network providers. An adequate network of dedicated professionals providing much-needed care is therefore critical. We need Your Help, and extend an invitation for you to join the provider network for TRICARE, assuming you meet requisite licensing and credentialing requirements in the state where service is to be rendered. Once TRICARE announces the award of the 2017 contract, you will be credentialed by ValueOptions Federal Services. After credentialing has been completed in full, you will be a TRICARE network provider and eligible for TRICARE referrals at the start of health care delivery.

Below are links for the ValueOptions Federal Services/TRICARE Provider application, agreement and Fee Schedule. Click to open for review and signature.

CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

CLICK HERE FOR FEE SCHEDULE

 CLICK HERE FOR TRICARE AGREEMENT
Should a disqualifying issue occur in credentialing it may affect the agreement for TRICARE, but will have no effect on your other agreements with ValueOptions and Beacon Health Options. Please return as soon as possible by email toServingOurMilitary@valueoptions.com. If email is inconvenient, you can fax the agreement back to: 1-855-745-9579. Lastly, if your preference is to mail the agreement back, please mail to:

ValueOptions Federal Services, Inc.

Attn: TRICARE Provider Relations

1434 Crossways Boulevard Ste. 150

Chesapeake, Virginia 23320

Should you have any questions, please contact us atServingOurMilitary@valueoptions.com.

Your service is greatly needed and we thank you for your dedication to our military men and women. We are ready and willing to assist you.