TRICARE Congressional Conference Committee MONDAY — Letters Needed

[Posted for LCPCM and Concerned Counselors]

Dear Colleagues:

On Monday, the 22nd, a Congressional Conference Committee will be meeting to decide whether ALL Mental Health Counselors will be able to see TRICARE beneficiaries, irrespective of whether they went to a CACREP School. The American Counseling Association advocated for a special provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would grandfather ALL Mental Health Counselors as independent providers who possess 5 years of clinical experience. This grandfathering period would last 10 years.

This is a VERY IMPORTANT precedent and I am asking every member to take a moment on Monday to send an email to a specially created listserve below that emails every legislative director involved in the conference committee. I need you to write a brief statement telling Congress why CACREP should not be used as the sole criterion to select providers for TRICARE. I fear if we do not stand strong now, the use of CACREP as a selection criterion for insurance reimbursement will seep into MEDICARE and other insurers.

It is a heavy burden to serve as President of our state association while knowing that many of us could face employment and insurance discrimination in the future if we do not act concertedly now to address this threat. I want to do everything possible on my watch to stand up for our profession in Maryland, but I need your help. Thank you for taking a moment to email these legislative staffers. You could make a difference in securing the profession we love into the future.

tricarecounseling@concernedcounselors.org

Larry Epp, President

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland

PS – I have attached a letter with some language you can borrow for your email. Your email does not have to be long to be effective. Short, passionate statements can be effective.

[Please see the sample letter at the following URL and PLEASE modify it to be personal: http://www.concernedcounselors.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LCPC-letter-to-Congress-6-19-151.docx ]