Greetings Membership, The NorCATA Legislative Committee has been working hard to monitor the legislative interests of Art Therapists living and working in California for the 2017 legislative session. The 2017 legislative session has closed and October 15 was the last day for Governor Brown to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature. On January 1, 2018 the new statutes will take effect. The legislature will reconvene on January 3, 2018 to begin the 2018 legislative review.
Bills which have been of interest to NorCATA:
AB 1591 (Berman) MediCal reimbursement of LPCCs in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
Sponsored by CALPCC and supported by BBS and CAMFT, this bill was drafted to add art therapists who are LPCCs as providers who can be reimbursed by Medi-Cal for services at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).
Last year a similar bill was passed to add art therapists who are LMFTs to the Medi-Cal reimbursement list. Sadly, the bill was vetoed by Governor Brown on 10/7/2017.
To the Members of the California State Assembly: I am returning Assembly Bill 1591 without my signature. This bill adds Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors to the list of health care professionals whose services are reimbursable by Medi-Cal on a per visit basis at Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics. The Department of Health Care Services is developing a new payment model for these health clinics that will eliminate the need to add specific providers to an approved list. Consequently, this bill is unnecessary. Sincerely, Edmund G. Brown Jr.
AB 1188 (Nazarian) Health Professions Development Loan Repayment
Sponsored by CALPCC, Co-sponsored by NASW-CA Chapter, Supported by the BBS, California Psychological Association and AAMFT-CA Chapter. This bill adds art therapists who are LPCCs and provide direct patient care in a publicly funded facility or in a mental health professional shortage area, as eligible for grants to reimburse educational loans. This Mental Health Practitioner Education Fund is developed from an assessment at the time of license renewal. LMFTs, LCSWs and psychologists currently pay $10 each biennial renewal. This bill increases the assessment to $20, and establish (for the first time ever) an LPCC assessment of $20 for each biennial renewal, beginning July 1, 2018.
This bill was signed by the Governor on 10/7/2017.
AB 93 (Medina) Marriage and Family Therapists: Clinical Social Workers: Professional Clinical Counselors: Required Experience and Supervision.
Sponsored by BBS, Supported by CALPCC, NASW-CA, CAMFT. This bill represents three years of work by the Board’s Supervision Committee, chaired by LPCC representative, Dr. Leah Brew. Its amendments focus on strengthening the qualifications of supervisors, supervisor responsibilities, types of supervision that may be provided, and acceptable work settings for supervisees. The bill also strives to make the Board’s supervision requirements more consistent across its licensed professions.
Status: This bill stalled in the Senate Business and Professions Committee and will become a two-year bill, in order to give more time for the BBS to work on the Committee’s concerns.
AB 191 (Wood) Mental Health: Involuntary Treatment
Sponsored by CAMFT, Co-sponsored by CALPCC and NASW, Supported by BBS, this bill amends an existing law which provides that when a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled, he or she may be taken into custody and placed in a facility for evaluation and treatment. The bill adds art therapists who are licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed professional clinical counselor to the list of professionals who are authorized to sign a specified notice under specified circumstances.
This bill has passed in the legislature and was approved by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State on 9/01/2017.
SB 374 (Newman) Health Insurance: Discriminatory Practices: Mental Health
This bill is co-sponsored by the California Psychiatric Association, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and the California Psychological Association and is supported by CALPCC. This bill requires large group, small group, and individual health insurance policies to provide all covered mental health and substance use disorder benefits in compliance with the federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Dominici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and all regulations, and guidance issued pursuant to MHPAEA. It also allows the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to issue guidance to health insurers until January 1, 2019.
This bill has been signed by the Governor.
AB 1261 (Berman) Pupil Discipline: Pupil Suicide Prevention.
This bill, which required a school, in developing a pupil suicide prevention policy in consultation withothers, as specified, with a mandatory expulsion policy or zero tolerance policy for alcohol, an intoxicant, or a controlled substance to consider whether the mandatory expulsion policy or zero tolerance policy is deterring pupils from seeking help for substance abuse. The bill also included referral to mental health professionals as another means of correction rather than expulsion of the student.
This bill was vetoed by the Governor, who agreed with the goal of the bill, but believed that this is a matter would be more appropriately handled at the local level.
NorCATA will continue to monitor the 2018 legislative activity relevant to art therapists in California. If you would like to help support the legislative efforts of NorCATA please consider joining our legislative committee.
NorCATA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes the therapeutic use of art throughout Northern California, public awareness of art therapy, professional development through educational events, workshops, conferences, and more.
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