Information and thoughts from VTMHCA leadership.
We are less than one month away from counselors being able to bill Medicare for patient services! Which also means there are a zillion questions about how to navigate the government bureaucracy of the enrollment process.
To help members navigate this, I have created a clearinghouse all of the available information in one place. In the Members Only Area of the website, you will find a page called Medicare Info, which has two pages: Medicare enrollment info and Medicare billing info. I will be updating these pages as I glean more information.
Because this information is under the Members Only section, you must be logged into your account to access it.
We are getting closer to the day when LCMHCs can accept Medicare!
AMHCA recently sent out the latest information on when and how LCMHC's can begin the enrollment process. Here is the update:
Medicare Releases New Information on Enrollment Procedures and Related Processes for MFTs and MHCs
Official Enrollment Likely Begins in November
CMS has alerted AMHCA that they have just posted a new “Medicare Enrollment for Providers & Suppliers” page with an additional special section under “News and Additional Resources” entitled “New Provider Type: Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Mental Health Counselors (MHCs).”
You can find the new posting on Marriage and Family Therapist and Mental Health Counselor Enrollment materials at:
Please keep in mind that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) are not officially accepting enrollment applications for Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors until November when it is likely that the Final 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule is published in the Federal Register (when at that time you can officially begin to enroll). However, you can get a head start now by reviewing the forms you will need to complete and supporting documentation.
To assist in this process, the CMS Center for Program Integrity has developed a comprehensive document entitled: “Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) and Mental Health Counselors (MHC) Provider Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) September 2023.”
You can learn more by visiting the AMHCA Medicare website: Medicare - American Mental Health Counselors Association (amhca.org)
The pandemic has really done a number on so many people's lives. It is becoming more and more common to hear from my clients about the significant, life changing effects the pandemic has had on their lives. It certainly has impacted my life too.
VTMHCA and other organizations have also been impacted. We were already struggling to find members to step into leadership roles and the huge difficulty of the pandemic has really exacerbated that problem. A small group of active members have created what we call the VTMHCA Revitalization Committee to work with NHMHCA and AMHCA to hopefully find some ways to shift VTMHCA back on the path of energetic sustainability.
Vermont OPR has created some new pathways toward licensure in an effort to remove barriers that have prevented people from becoming licensed.
"OPR is implementing licensing reforms to make sure there is equitable access to licensing for the professions we regulate. By recognizing out-of-state experience and training, reducing costs, and creating alternate paths to licensure, we are breaking down barriers to live and work in Vermont as a licensed professional."
OPR has created pages of information related to:
In 2022, Act 117, An act relating to licensure of mental health professionals, was passed into law. Several parts of this act impact mental health counselors in Vermont.
One part of this Act updates Sec. 4. 26 V.S.A. § 3269 regarding continuing education requirements for licensing renewal. Here are the changes:
Another part of this Act requires OPR to conduct a Mental Health Licensure Study. The purpose is to consider:
Vermont has officially joined the nationwide counseling compact! A special thank you to member, Kirke McVay who worked especially hard to get Vermont to sign on.
The details of the compact are still be worked out, but essentially, because Vermont is now part of the compact, this will open up the ability to apply for the privilege to practice in other compact states.
For more information, visit the Counseling Compact website.
Copyright (2024) Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association
Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association
PO Box 1132, White River Junction, VT 05001
VTMHCA is a 501 (c)(6) non-profit organization.