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Legislative Update

by Susan Boritz, MA, LMFT
CTAMFT Legislative Liaison (legislative@ctamft.org)

BillCTAMFT’s Legislative Committee continues to make headway on several legislative fronts, including obtaining approval for an Associate License (LMFTA) for new grads working toward their independent license, as well as pushing forward a Medicare MFT coverage bill (S-562).

LMFT “A” Update
CTAMFT is continuing efforts to enhance its licensing structure. Our goal is to create a formal title designation (LMFTA – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate) for graduates after they’ve passed the national exam, and while they work under supervision (1,000 clinical hours and 100 hours of supervision) toward their independent license.

This summer, Denise Parent and I submitted a “Scope of Practice” proposal to the Department of Public Health (DPH), launching the review process toward a new license designation. We are pleased to share a show of support by CT-NASW’s Executive Director, Steve Carp, who has written backing this effort, as CT-NASW is seeking a similar license designation.

We have since learned that DPH has delayed our request. Let’s make this a priority! We are looking for legislators (particularly on the Public Health and Appropriations Committees) to support a bill we’d like reintroduced in the next session. Schools and students have the most to benefit from this initiative, and it’s important that we all step up our efforts to rally support as we move forward.

You can help by reaching out to your local legislators encouraging them to advocate for this proposal during the upcoming session. To assist you, our lobbying firm, Murtha Cullina, has drafted a “script” with talking points that we can all use with our legislators to gather support for the LMFTA. Click here for a talking points script.

Medicare Update
MFTs are not eligible to receive reimbursement for services for clients on Medicare under federal law. By law (Sec. 1861(s) of the Social Security Act), specific types of clinicians may be determined eligible for Medicare Part B coverage only upon statutory (Congressional) enactment of an amendment to that law Section. Medicare Part B coverage for independent-practice MFTs passed the US Senate in 2003 and 2005, and the US House in 2007 and 2009 – but not the other Chamber at those times. This has been an important issue for both AAMFT and CTAMFT for years. Our entire field stands to benefit from this initiative.

We have received positive news that the Department of Social Services (DSS) is considering adding MFT reimbursement to more of their Medicaid plans, aimed at increasing access to quality mental health providers for their clients. This helps to support our goal of eventually achieving Medicare reimbursement.

AAMFT is working diligently to push forward a Medicare MFT coverage bill (S-562), which has 11 bipartisan sponsors. Representative Gibson (R-NY), along with some Democratic cosponsors plan to introduce a House “companion” to this bill.

You can help!
Please urge your members of Congress to support S-562, Medicare MFT coverage. It’s simple! Just click here. To help with legislative efforts, please contact Susan Boritz via e-mail.