LMHC Practice Requirements and Information Updates Page
Updates to MaMHCA Guidelines on Electronic Communications and Social Media. MaMHCA has recently updated the Guidelines to reflect recent 2 advisories regarding texting, and professional web-sites.
We are now noting the availability of HIPAA-approved Texting apps. Texting without using such an app is considered unsecure, and a HIPAA violation. MaMHCA has compiled, without review, a list of available apps for members to review. (SEE Members Only Pages on-line).
MaMHCA is strongly recommending that LMHCs separate their professional mental health counseling website from any additional websites they may have for other professional endeavors that are NOT directly related to the LMHC scope of practice.
These guidelines are recommended to ensure the confidentiality, and privacy of all protected health information, and for maintaining appropriate professional boundaries with clients.
Your Questions Answered:
MassHealth Registration: LMHCs DO NOT HAVE TO REGISTER with MassHealth, at this time. The Current requirement only applies to LICSWs, who can se Medicare clients, and also order certain services for them through Medicare.
Approved Supervision Requirement:All Approved Supervisors for individuals needing supervision for their field placements (Practicum, Internship, Post-MA work experience) for their LMHC license, MUST be 3 years Post – License. And while LICSWs can supervise other social workers, immediately upon receiving their LICSW license, to supervise individuals in the LMHC-track, they also must be 3 years Post License.
LMHC License Renewal Closes & CE Audit Begins By December 31, 2017, all LMHC license renewal applications should have been submitted to the Allied Board of Mental Health and Human Services Professions. The LMHC Board will commence with its random audit for CE compliance on January 2, 2018.
Essential Audit Information:
All LMHCS must be able to show 30 CEs if audited.
All LMHCS must have had in their CE history,at least 1 hour of training on filing a 51A. As of January 1, 2010, mandated reporters who are professionally licensed by the Commonwealth are required to complete a training to recognize and report suspected child abuse and neglect. You can find more information and resources at: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dds/mandated-reporter-training.html
The new requirement for Domestic Violence Awareness Training will not be required for the 2016-2017 renewal cycle.
Record Keeping Requirements, Supervision Requirements and more - CMR – 226; Section 8: Ethical Standards contains Record Keeping Requirements for LMHCs, including required contents of the Client Record; Supervision Requirements for LMHCs, as well as several other ethical and practice polices. All LMHCs should be familiar with the contents of this section.
► New Slide Webinar Addressing New Practice Requirements Available
Slide Webinar:“Regulations Changes LMHCs Need to Know Now!” a slide webinar authored by Midge Williams, LMHC, MaMHCA Executive Director, and used in her workshop presentations on the New LMHC Regulations 2015 - 2017.
In addition to changes in requirements for licensure as an LMHC, the CMR-262 also includes important new elements that impact LMHC practice, including:
Minimum requirements for a client record,
Minimum requirements for informed consent to treat,
New, specified ethical standards, and
New standards for Approved Supervisors and supervision.
The webinar will cover these changes, how they will impact practice, and what LMHCs need to do to assure they are practicing in a responsible, legal and ethical manner. The final phase of implementing the new LMHC Regulations, (CMR-262; of June 5, 2015) will go in to effect July 1, 2017.
►3 CEs upon completion of the CE Home Study Test. (View Webinar Page Here)
LMHC Licensing Board Disciplinary Actions 2016- 6 LMHCs have received disciplinary actions from the Licensing Board in the first third of 2016 (January through April 2016). Their offenses include Inappropriate Conduct (2) with licenses suspended and surrendered, Fraud and Unethical Conduct (1) with 3 year probation with conditions, Failure to adhere to Standards of Practice (1) with $1000 fine and formal reprimand, Substandard Treatment (1) with fine and formal reprimand; and Abandonment (1) fine and license suspended. These are all serious offenses and we urge all MaMHCA members to review the ethical standards and standards of practice in Section 8 of the CMR 262.
The Completely New LMHC Regulations
Because of the popularity of the workshop, The Completely New CMR-262- Implications for LMHC Practice, we offered the workshop on three dates this past Fall, in order to accommodate the requests enrollment. The focus of the workshop was on the changes in key Definitions that would affect LMHC practice, and most importantly, the changes to the Ethical Standards (Section 8.00) of the CMR-262, that a. mandate minimal requirements for a treatment record, b. mandate minimal requirements for Informed Consent, and c. set out requirements an obligations for Supervisors. We also briefly covered the changes that will be in place regarding requirements for obtaining the LMHC license beginning July 1, 2017.
Since the June 5, 2015 promulgation of the new CMR-262, posed difficulties, especially because of the timing, the Allied Board conducted discussions with graduate programs to address some questions and provide relief in implementation of the new regulations, where they could under the law.
The Board issued FAQ’s to address these implementation policies on October 30, 2015. They can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/dpl/boards/mh/faqs-on-the-updated-lmhc-application-process.pdf
Additionally, the Board is also planning to use a new Academic Requirement Form to be signed by an applicant’s graduate program Chair.
LMHC License Board Updates: Frequently Asked Question: The Allied Board of Mental Health and Human Services Professions has posted a New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document to address many of the questions that have arisen since the new CMR-262 was promulgated on June 5, 2015. Most questions have dealt with the new definition of an Approved Supervisor, the hiring of new supervisory staff by agencies, and the placement of Interns, before and after the June 5th date. The Board will be working with concerned parties to help manage difficulties that may arise this year because of the unfortunate timing of the new rules, especially in relation to agencies hiring new staff and Interns around that time.
Board Disciplinary Actions: Since June 1, 2015, the licensing Board has issued 4 more disciplinary actions:
·1 license revocation for health care fraud
·2 $3000.00 fines for operating with an expired or inactive license
·1 fine and a CE requirement for sub-standard treatment
MaMHCA encourages ALL LMHCs to obtain copies of the CMR-262, the Ethical Standards of the American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association and review the important ethical and legal standards.