Tell Congress to Support Medicare Coverage of Counselors!

Legislation has been introduced to allow counselors to participate in Medicare. NBCC needs your help to get this legislation passed! Contact your legislators TODAY and ask them to co-sponsor the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 286/H.R. 945). Support from counselors like you is crucial to getting this legislation passed. Please use the link below to call and email your senators and representatives and tell them why this legislation is so important. NBCC’s Government and Legislative Affairs Department has created draft messages for you, but we strongly urge you to add your personal experiences with this issue to be more effective.  It only takes a few minutes of your time and your support can make a significant impact on the profession! Thank you for your assistance!  TAKE ACTION!

LARA Reminder: Patient Record Requirements

July 25, 2018

The Bureau often receives complaints from individuals who are unable to obtain their medical records or about medical records that are mishandled by providers. We want to remind providers of the requirements to maintain and provide medical records.

Pursuant to Michigan law, MCL 333.16213, an individual licensed or registered under the Public Health Code must keep and maintain a record for each patient for whom they have provided medical services. Unless a longer retention period is required under federal or state laws or regulations, or by generally accepted standards of medical or professional practice, a licensee must keep and retain each record for a minimum of 7 years from the date of service for that patient. A licensee is obligated under statute to fulfill these requirements, even in the event a licensee sells or closes their practice, retires from practice, or otherwise ceases to practice.

A licensee that fails to comply with this requirement is subject to administrative action against their license, including a fine up to $10,000.00. Further details regarding a licensee’s obligation to maintain patient records can be found here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office via email at BPLHelp@michigan.gov.

Sincerely,

Bureau of Professional Licensing

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.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) & Blue Care Network (BCN) direct reimbursement available for Licensed Professional Counselors

After years of collaborative efforts, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) are now eligible to begin the BCBSM and BCN paneling process beginning October 1, 2015 and reimbursement for services rendered will begin January 1, 2016.

LPCs will have the opportunity to participate in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Traditional, TRUST (PPO) and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Managed Care networks (BCN). Participating LPCs will receive direct reimbursement for covered mental health services that fall within their scope of practice/licensure (which includes any service an LPC has formally/ethically received training, i.e. see MCA/MMHCA scope of practice document).

Covered mental health services will be reimbursed at 80 percent of the Traditional, TRUST and MHSAMC doctoral level practitioner fee schedule, less any member deductibles and copayments. Additional provisions for expanded coverage continue and will be made available for dissemination as they become active, i.e. reimbursement parity for doctoral level LPCs, etc.

Note: Not all BCBSM plans (i.e. Self-Funded Plans) will cover LPC services or services billed directly by an LPC. However, services may still be billed on an “incident to” basis for both LPCs and LLPCs until these plans adopt coverage for LPCs. As additional Self-Funded Plans become eligible for contract renewal, it is expected they too will adopt LPCs as covered providers under their respective plans. To find out if a subscriber has coverage, check web-DENIS for member benefits and eligibility or call PARS at 1-800-344-8525. Also, if an LPC registers as a ‘nonparticipating’ provider for Traditional BCBSM plans, payments for covered services will be sent directly to the member.

Beginning October 1, 2015, LPCs can find the Traditional, TRUST and MHSAMC practitioner agreements and enrollment forms on bcbsm.com. To find enrollment information, click on Providers, and then on Join the Blues Network and Enrollment and Changes. Specific qualification requirements are identified within each agreement. Qualified LPCs may apply for a BCBSM provider identification number by completing the enrollment applications available on this site.

Beginning February 1, 2016, LPCs (or any provider type) will not be able to enroll in BCN until the next enrollment period which is October 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017.

All interested LPCs must be registered with a National Provider Identification (NPI) number, as well as a Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) number. Additional information on how to obtain these numbers are available online to members of Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association (MMHCA).

For more information, contact Provider Inquiry, your BCBSM provider consultant, or MMHCA.

Thank you to all that participated in this awaited accomplishment.

Donald E. Deering, Ph.D., LPC, NCC

President, Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association