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February 21, 2009   Mr. H Douglas Cox Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services Virginia Department of Education P.O. Box 2120 Richmond, VA 23218-2120   Dear Mr. Cox: &nbs ...

Mental Health Counselors included in New House Rural Health Care Legislation

 

Mental Health Counselors included in New House Rural Health Care Legislation< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) and the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) efforts to pass Medicare reimbursement for state-licensed mental health counselors took another step further on < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />June 26, 2007, with the introduction of H.R. 2860, the Health Care Access and Rural Equity (H-CARE) Act of 2007. The bill was introduced by a bi-partisan group of House Rural Health Caucus members, led by co-chairs Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Greg Walden (R-OR). Read More

Congress Passes Bill to Include Counselors in VA Programs

Congress Passes Bill to Include Counselors in VA Programs

 

Inclusion of mental health counselors as providers at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), a top policy goal for the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA), passed both the U.S. House and Senate during the waning hours of the 109th Congress. The provision, included in S. 3421, the Veterans Benefits, Healthcare, and Information Act, opens up the VA health care system to mental health counselors, increasing access to care for veterans. S. 3421 now goes to President Bush to be signed into law.  

 

The bill, which passed the House by voice vote and the Senate under unanimous consent, includes the AMHCA and ACA provision to add mental health counselors to the list of appointed positions within the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA). The provision would also delineate the qualifications mental health counselors would need to be appointed to a position in the VHA. 

 

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