Illinois Mental Health Counselors

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Current Federal Legislation

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 Medicare Coverage of Licensed Professional Counselors Establish Medicare reimbursement of licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists.S.604S.604
 Medicare Coverage of Licensed Professional CounselorsEstablish Medicare reimbursement of licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists  H.R. 3662
H.R. 3662


Congress Passes 21st Century Cures Bill

The $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act, which the Senate passed by a vote of 94 to 5 December 7, includes the most significant mental healthcare legislation in 20 years. The House passed the bill last week 392-26. It is headed to President Obama who has said he will sign it into law on December 13th, 2016.

The mental health provisions of the Cures bill fund suicide-prevention programs, mental health services for children, and programs for court-ordered outpatient treatment. It reinforces current laws that require insurers to treat mental illness as they do any other illness in terms of benefits. And it creates a new position in the US Department of Health and Human Services called the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use for coordinating mental health programs across the federal government.

Mental health provisions

Among other provisions, the mental health portion of the bill includes:

  • Creates a new position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse;
  • Establishes new grant programs for early intervention;
  • Directs states to only fund evidence-based mental health initiatives with a proven track record;
  • Removes barriers to individuals accessing mental-health care and services;
  • Promotes jail diversion initiatives and other programs to keep the mentally ill from being incarcerated;
  • Expands access to mental healthcare providers and beds for patients;
  • Requires health insurance companies to cover more mental health treatments;
  • Requires substantial new data collection around mental illness and the criminal justice system.
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2016/12/mental-health-provisions.aspx

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/house-passes-cures-bill-with-mental-health-reforms-included/article/2608575


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