COVID-19 has brought new challenges and changes to our world. Some of us will experience great loss but together we will get through these times. When things become too much, reach out. Mental health and wellness information is available online and by phone.
National Institute of Mental Health
Mental Health resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NC DHHS for the latest COVID-19 information
Directory of mental health resources in NC
LPAs authorized to utilize telehealth services - medicaid:
Medicaid policy changes include:
- Payment parity for approved services, meaning providers will be paid the same fee for a service regardless of whether it is provided in-office or via an approved technology platform;
- Expanding eligible telehealth technologies to any HIPAA-compliant, secure technology with audio and video capabilities, including (but not limited to) smart phones, tablets and computers;
- Expanding the types of provider that can provide telehealth to include clinical pharmacists, licensed clinical mental health counselors (LCMHCs), licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs), licensed clinical addiction specialists (LCASs), and licensed psychological associates (LPAs);
- Expanding the list of eligible originating sites, which is where the patient may be located (e.g., health care facilities, community sites, the home) and distant sites, which is wherever the provider is located (Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) are considered eligible distant sites); and
- Eliminating the need for some prior authorizations and referrals.
These changes will be retroactive to March 10, 2020 and will remain in effect until the North Carolina State of Emergency is declared over or when this policy is rescinded, whichever comes first. Medicaid will continue to release telehealth policy provisions and will continue to evaluate this policy throughout the state of emergency period.
For more information, visit Special COVID-19 Medicaid Bulletin #7: Telehealth Providers – Clinical Policy Modification on the Medicaid website at https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/providers/medicaid-bulletin.
NCAPP is supporting the effort to end career-long supervision of Licensed Psychological Associates in NC. Doing so will increase access to psychological services in NC. Currently LPAs are the only psychologists in at least 20 counties and rural areas but the restricted license prohibits LPAs from being able to accept most insurance. Help us help our fellow North Carolinians by donating today.
The NC Psychology Board has posted on their website all the comments regarding all of the proposed rules changes:
CALL FOR CELEBRATION!
Check out the latest on the NEWS page - including the outcome of the November 7, 2019 NC Psychology Board meeting and the NCAPP meet & greet that occurred on Sunday 11-17-2019, in Raleigh
CHECK OUT THE LATEST UPDATE ON THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGES ON THE NEWS PAGE!
FYI/PSA The American Psychological Association has released their "Report of the BEA Task Force to Develop a Blueprint for APA Accreditation of Master's Programs in Health Service Psychology." The 22-page report is here.
NCAPP was represented by Tara Luellen MA, LPA, at the Triangle Business Journal Health Care Series, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. Discussions included values based healthcare moving forward and an emphasis on quality healthcare (vs quantity), moving away from a fee for service model. This move would involve that providers assume some of the risk and the offering of quality services through compensation consideration of good patient outcomes. Tara connected with a representative from Carolina Partners in Mental Health and will have more information following an upcoming planned meeting. Thank you Tara for representing NCAPP and NC LPA practioners.
Check out the NEWS page for our most recent update on NCAPP sponsored petition to end career-long supervision of LPAs in NC.
Click on the "NEWS" link for the latest updates
NEW: Interested in volunteering on an NCAPP committee? Click Here
NCAPP advocating for increased access to mental health services in under served rural areas.
GREAT DAY COLLEAGUES!
We met with the NCBP and the meeting went wonderfully! The Board was quite generous with kind words, and several members offered their support to ending career-long supervision. Our legal team did a marvelous job preparing this petition and coordinating this meeting. This effort will benefit all LPAs in NC as well as the citizenry of NC through increased availability to mental health services.
We have video of the meeting today. (link below)
Thank you to all the people who came to the meeting today and supported this effort. We must continue to work together to see this through.
PLEASE help by providing a donation toward the costs of the petition and consider becoming a member of NCAPP. We still have a good deal of work to do.
Thank you all!
Photo following the NCPB meeting - the legal team and the petitioners
Flora Dunbar, Tara Luellen, Ed Gaskins, Janet Heuring-Larsen, Katie King, Carol Williams, and Vinston Goldman
Videos of the meeting with the NCPB on 11-15-18
Link to the full petition to the North Carolina Psychology Board for a rule change
this is a large, 102 page pdf file
Please support LPA independence. Become a member of NCAPP.
A PayPal account is NOT required -
PayPal provides a link that accepts credit cards
Mail donations or membership applications to: NCAPP P.O. Box 416 Butner, NC 27509
A little background:
The North Carolina Association of Professional Psychologists grew out of a grassroots advocacy effort starting in 1994 by an ambitious group of Licensed Psychological Associates (LPAs) who realized that a shift was taking place in the behavioral health field, leaving insufficient room for LPAs to serve and thrive in the community. Other master’s level clinicians including master’s level addiction specialists, counselors, social workers, family and marriage therapists, and behavioral analysts were all gaining a place to serve in mental health care and on panels. The two-tiered field of psychology, however, was not allowing a place for LPAs to thrive and serve at their full capacity.
In the 1970’s Doctoral-level psychologists were in a very similar position, where supervision and oversight were required by Psychiatrists (MDs) in order to bill insurance panels and have access to the mental health care. In 1979-1980 Doctoral-level psychologists took the matter to the legal system and achieved full independent practice from Psychiatrists on insurance panels from decisions made in the “Virginia Blues Case” (Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologist v/s Blue Shield of Virginia et al.). Since then, other cases have determined that health care provider licensing boards have the responsibility to ensure that the rules within their practice acts best serve the public by not only ensuring safe practices and standards but also allowing for a fair and competitive marketplace among providers. In 2015, the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission determined that state licensing boards were not immune to federal antitrust anticompetitive law and needed to ensure that licensing laws were truly a matter of public safety rather than a method to sway the market to favor one group of individuals over another. More recently, in Texas, portions of their Psychology Practice Act were ruled unconstitutional and were re-written. Master’s level psychologists have earned independence in this case that not only challenged overreaching control of the marketplace via unnecessarily applied supervision requirements, but also an overly broad set of parameters controlling the use of the terms “psychologist, psychological etc.” .
Based of the review of data collected by a NCAPP/NCPA task force in 2013, it was determined that the data supported no increased risk to the public by allowing LPAs to serve without career-long supervision (data collected from eight states where master’s level psychologists practice independently). In 2015, current NCAPP leadership started a revitalized mission to take on and end career-long supervision of LPAs in North Carolina. To date, a 102 page petition (available on our website) has been presented to the North Carolina Psychology Board and they have been tasked with reviewing with NCAPP leadership and our legal team. NCAPP has faith that they will see where the current rule violates reasonable standards for a fair marketplace by the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust policies, and thus, need to be changed as soon as possible.
Once again, we thank you for your support of this effort.
The Future of the Profession of Psychology
In North Carolina, psychology has both doctoral-level and master's-level practitioners. Professional counselors, clinical addiction specialists, clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists require only a master's degree. Of the five allied professional mental health care disciplines, only master's-level psychologists currently requires career-long supervision. The adjacent table reflect the number of licenses per year for each discipline for 2013 through 2018, inclusive, and the growth of licensees in percentage and members. The table indicates a 4% decline in LPAs, a 6% increase in LPs while the other four disciplines have grown from 24% to 165%. The time is now for a call to action to preserve our profession and our practice.