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Advocacy

LPCANC Advocacy Day

Together Our Voices Are Stronger!

 

LPCANC Advocacy Day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

"We came, we spoke and they listened. It was a great day! "

 Join us next year for Advocacy day. We look forward to seeing you in 2020!

LPCANC Advocacy participants who are members are eligible to earn 3 CEUs for LPCANC members (free) attending Advocacy Day! Please contact Advocacy@lpcanc.org if have any questions or need additional information. 

 

Advocacy Committee

Chair:

 Katrice Rankin Ward, LPC     Advocacy@lpcanc.org

 

Mission:

To address advocacy and policy issues relating to and affecting the Licensed Professional Counselor community and advise the Board on potential actions.

Responsibilities of Advocacy Committee:

  • Monitor and provide comment on policy issues of interest to the Licensed Professional Counselor community.
  • Develop LPCANC recommendations for Licensed Professional Counselor policies and practices for Institutions and advocate for their implementation.
  • Maintain and expand relationships with state agencies and national organizations within the Licensed Professional Counselor community
  • Collaborate with other LPCANC committees, officers, staff, and Board members on projects to advance/promote/facilitate the mission of the LPCANC.

 

Advocacy Priorities

LPCANC’s 2019 Top Priorities

1.  VICTORY UPDATE!: Gov. Copper signed HB 70 into law on June 6, 2019.

State Law 2019-23 can be viewed here: NC State Law 2019-23 - Delay HealthConnex

LPCANC was a vigorous and instrumental supporter of the legislation to delay of the requirement that all healthcare providers who receive state funds must connect to NC HealthConnex by June 2019 in order to receive payments for services provided.  The NC Health Information Exchange Connectivity Feasibility Study released on July 25, 2018 by the NC Department of Information Technology, the NC Department of Health and Human Service, and the State Health Plan, recommends that the HIE requirement for behavioral health providers be delayed until at least 2020. According to the Study, 35% of providers do not have the technology to meet the pending mandate to connect. LPCANC is concerned that many licensed behavioral health professionals, including licensed professional counselors, will decide to no longer provide services to Medicaid, Health Choice and State Health Plan patients causing hardship to those covered by these plans. 

2.  LPCANC supports efforts to expand opportunities for LPCs in the area of telehealth. NC House Bill 555 can be viewed here: HB 555 - Modernize Medicaid Telemedicine Policies

Primary Sponsors: Rep. Donna White (R-Johnson), Rep. Josh Dobson (R-Avery), Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth)

Bill Summary - This bill states that DHHS shall reimburse for telemedicine and tele-psychiatry performed in a patient’s home or a licensed practitioner’s office; a referral would not be required; services provided by video or cell phone would be covered; services provided may bill for the facility fee; services shall not be subject to the same restrictions as face to face services; the coverage policy shall align with best practice standards.

HB 555 states that all behavioral health providers who are directly enrolled as providers in the NC Health Choice programs, including licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists,  shall be included in the policy and who may bill as physician providers for telemedicine and telepsychiatry services. 

 The bill also directs DHHS to expand the billing code to include most outpatient billing codes, including family therapy and psychotherapy for crisis.

Bill Movement - HB 555 was filed on April 2, 2019 and referred to the following NC House Committees:

  • Health – a proposed committee substitute passed on May 2, 2019
  • Rules – passed May 3, 2019

 

3. LPCANC opposes efforts to consolidate behavioral health licensing boards. The behavioral healthcare professions are each distinct and separate in training, curriculum and standards, ethics codes, accrediting bodies, scope of practice, and treatment modalities. 

4. LPCANC supports improvements to Medicaid managed care. As the North Carolina General Assembly looks at the framework of Medicaid transformation, LPCANC supports efforts to cut down unnecessary paperwork and administrative expenses for LPCs who provide Medicaid services. LPCANC also supports adequate Medicaid reimbursement rates for quality behavioral health services. 
  

Update on Senate Bill 300  - NC Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors

Senate Bill 300, a bill that would change the name of the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors to the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors, was introduced on March  20.  The primary sponsors of SB 300 are Sen. Paul Lowe (Forsyth County), Sen. Dan Bishop (Mecklenburg), and Sen. Joyce Krawiec (Forsyth County).  In addition to changing the name of “licensed professional counselor” to “licensed clinical mental health counselor”, the bill would also allow the Board to establish a program for licensees who may be experiencing substance use disorders, burnout, compassion fatigue, and other mental health concerns and allow the Board to refer any licensee to the program as part of the disciplinary process.  Finally, SB 300 allows the Board to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states that have requirements for licensure that are substantially similar to North Carolina.  SB 300 can be viewed here.

The Department of Health and Human Services Releases Final Policy Guidance for the Proposed Tailored Plans

The Department of Health and Human Services released it final policy guidance on the proposed tailored plans on March 18.  The policy paper is available here.

 

LPCANC Lobbyist

Ashley Matlock Perkinson

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