Final Rule Published for the TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselors Designation

The final rule for the TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselors designation came out in the Federal Register this morning:


We have the .pdf of the Rule available on our website here.


We need to analyze this carefully.  In the meantime it looks like providers without CACREP certification can still practice as before, under the supervision of a physician, and the timeframe to meet their certified criteria is extended another two years.

This is a strong win!  We’ll take a look and see what next steps are.


The Department of Defense is publishing this final rule to implement the TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor (TCMHC) provider type as a qualified mental health provider authorized to independently diagnose and treat TRICARE beneficiaries and receive reimbursement for services. Additionally, we are extending the time frame that was mentioned in the Interim Final Rule for meeting certain education, examination, and supervised clinical practice criteria to be considered for authorization as a TCMHC. The time frame has been changed from prior to January 1, 2015, to prior to January 1, 2017. One final set of criteria shall apply for the authorization of the TCMHC beginning January 1, 2017. The supervised mental health counselor (SMHC) provider type, while previously proposed to be terminated under TRICARE, is now continued indefinitely as an extramedical individual provider practicing mental health counseling under the supervision of a TRICARE authorized physician.


Effective Date: This rule is effective August 18, 2014.