HELP PRESERVE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS CARE

ISSUE:  NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) and Psychoanalysts are Essential Practitioners that Have Fully Served Care Recipients In New York For Decades.  In June 2021, New Practitioners Will No Longer Be Permitted to Diagnose Patients!  

OUR REQUEST:  WE NEED YOUR SIGNATURE BY FEBRUARY 5 TO HELP ENSURE THESE MOST ESSENTIAL PRACTITIONERS RETAIN THEIR FULL SCOPE OF PRACTICE IN COMMUNITY-BASED AGENCIES AFTER JUNE 2021.   


BACKGROUND
: Licensed under Article 163 of the NYS Education Law, the Professions of mental health counseling (LMHC), marriage and family therapy (LMFT), and psychoanalysts have been invaluable to the NYS public mental health system. The COVID pandemic, increasing suicide rates, and the ONGOING opioid epidemic still ravage communities, making the possibility of these practitioners might not be permitted to fully serve care recipients an absolute emergency as community-based mental health and substance use/disorder providers struggle to meet increased demand for care. 

In June 2021, newly licensed Article 163 practitioners will no longer be permitted to diagnose patients in OMH, OASAS, OCFS, or OPWDD licensed agencies.  Those currently working in the field can apply to the State Education Department (SED) to continue performing their full scope of practice, but our future workforce will be cut off from performing their full scope of practice in New York. The bottleneck in diagnosing new patients and attesting to their medical necessity for Medicaid services will grind to a halt.

Because the words in the current education law are "identify and evaluate" and not "diagnose" some state leaders believe the scope of practice of these licensed practitioners does not allow them to diagnose patients.  We need this law changed to clearly provide these practitioners authority to give diagnosis.  

 WE URGE YOU TO JOIN OUR EFFORTS IN SUPPORTING LMHCs, LMFTs, AND PSYCHOANALYSTS ABILITY TO “DIAGNOSE” CLIENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY-BASED AGENCIES.   

SIGN OUR PETITION TODAY!


Lauri Cole, Executive Director, NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare    Contact the author of the petition

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