Aug 4, 2017
Medicare Legislation Alert: H.R. 3032 Introduced to House of Reps
AMHCA has been continuing the effort to extend Medicare provider status to licensed Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists. The bill was recently introduced to the House of Representatives as H.R. 3032, "Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2017." For more specific information about this bill you can find details on the website of Congress here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3032, and also helpful information about how to participate in advocacy for this bill at AMHCA's website here: http://www.amhca.org/advocacy
There is also support in the Senate for inclusion of licensed Mental Health Counselors in Medicare. At their 2017 Annual Conference, AMHCA showed the below video of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) where she outlines her support for this cause. As she reviews in the video, Senator Stabenow plans to introduce this bill in the Senate shortly with her Republican colleague, John Barrasso of Wyoming. In the Senate the bill will be named, "The Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act." Use this link if the video below does not work on your device: https://youtu.be/h4uS9ctuQR0
On July 27th, 2017, MaMCHA Members and Leadership participated in AMHCA's Day of Advocacy at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Meetings were arranged with legislators, including the offices of Senator Ed Markey and Congresswoman Katherine Clark, providing the opportunity to educate lawmakers about the importance of LMHCs in Massachusetts being included as Medicare providers and having the ability to bill Medicare for services provided. In the below picture, you can see MaMHCA's President and Dir. of Professional Development, Betsy Handley, Dir. of Grant Funding, Samantha Del Gizzi, President-Elect and Dir. of Web Communication, Evan Schinell, and Secretary, Keri Wagner, following their meetings in the Longworth House Office Building.
Following AMHCA's Day of Advocacy, at the AMHCA 2017 Annual Conference, AMHCA Executive Director, Joel Miller, updated the membership that 14 legislators cosponsored H.R. 3032 thanks to the efforts of all the state chapters and members! The number can only go up from there, and here in Massachusetts we need to do our best to make sure that our state is well represented in that list of cosponsors! Stay tuned to MaMHCA's Federal Advocacy page and the above resources for more updates and information as it unfolds in this legislative cycle! AMHCA members, MaMCHA, and other state chapters also post live information, resources, and events relevant to this legislative advocacy on our facebook and twitter feeds with the hashtags #HR3032 and #Medicare.