About the GBAB



Join GBAB Committee

The General Board and Advisory Board (GBAB) committee is the information intelligence of UMHCA, the eyes and ears of Utah mental health counselors and other mental health therapists (defined in UT Code 58-60-102).

To join the GBAB Committee, please apply here.

General Board & Advisory Board Committee

  • Do you make it your practice to stay on top of the current mental health news and information?
  • Does stimulating conversation with like-minded individuals sound like time well-spent?
  • Are you a visionary who can identify matters of future importance to our profession?
  • Might you enjoy discovering the best and brightest of the counseling community?
  • Are you priming for a leadership role among your peers?
  • Do you have a keen eye for what is most important among the plethora of news and information?

Responsibilities of the GBAB Committee are to:

  1. Be well-informed of the specialized needs of clinical mental health professionals,

  2. Recognize emerging trends and issues that may influence the work of mental health professionals,

  3. Determine and disseminate the most concise and timely information for the professional community,

  4. Identify individuals who are subject-matter experts and may serve as a voice for best practices in counseling, and to

  5. Serve as a conduit for mental health professionals to consult with one another, share information and become a cohesive group of individuals working toward the common good.

Join the GBAB Committee— the core of UMCHA— the personification of the eyes, ears, and intelligence of Utah mental health counselors and partner professionals.

GBAB Hot Topics

  • 26 Oct 2018 6:37 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    OTHER TOPICS

    1. Top 25 Best Mental Health Apps: An Effective Alternative for When You Can't Afford Therapy? (26Oct18) We highlight the best mental health apps for 2018 and hear from the experts just how effective they are as an alternative treatment.
    2. Practice Ethics: How Many Years Does a Therapist Keep Records? “The NASW Insurance Trust strongly recommends retaining clinical records indefinitely. Remember: statutes of limitations for professional liability are based on when the injured party first realizes or should have realized that the practitioner caused harmed. As this could mean decades after the alleged malpractice, disposing of files—ever—is potentially risky."  
    3. New Concept: Forensic Evaluation Training for Asylum Seekers. “The Human Rights Initiative at UB is a medical student run organization that was founded to address the needs of survivors of torture who are seeking asylum in the Western New York area and beyond. Our expanding network of physicians, medical students, licensed mental health providers, social workers, lawyers and others, works to perform physical, gynecological and psychological forensic evaluations for individuals who have been tortured or persecuted in their native countries and are now applying for asylum in the United States. These evaluations can be lifesaving for our clients; individuals are more likely to be granted asylum in the United States with documentation of the physical or psychological evidence of the torture they experienced.” 
    4. Frontiers/Controversy: The Harms of Male Circumcision. Childhood male circumcision is a contentious topic in American culture, but social work literature rarely, if ever, references it. Social work's disinclination to examine circumcision is incongruent with the profession's role as child welfare experts and advocates. Discussing the circumcision of boys touches on several topics, each of which is emotionally charged. Circumcision has implications about human sexuality, body sovereignty, religious minority rights, medical ethics, childhood trauma, rights of men and intersex people. These subjects elicit passionate opinions and social workers are as prone to emotional responses as the general American population.  Despite our different opinions and passions on the topic, social work could provide a unique and useful perspective congruent with our role as child welfare advocates. Early childhood trauma (even if it can't be consciously recalled) can have a lasting negative effect. 
    5. Mental Health & Law: NAMI And Others File Lawsuit Against The Short-Term, Limited Duration Plan Final Rule. “In partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans and other organizations, NAMI filed suit today to invalidate the federal short-term, limited duration (STLD) insurance plan rule issued last month by three federal agencies.” 
    6. Mental Health & Law: Mental Health Parity At Risk. “NAMI released a report highlighting the impossible barriers millions of Americans living with mental health and substance use disorders faced prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).” 
    7. Standard of Practice: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) “Within the many acronyms used for POLST, the P can stand for: Professional (including Physician Assistant, Advance Practice Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians, and other health care Professionals), Patient, Preferences, Palliative. All adults should have advance directives to help guide their future health care plans and identify a surrogate decision maker. A POLST form is for when you become seriously ill or frail and its purpose is to provide medical orders to emergency personnel based on your current medical situation. POLST forms and advance directives are both advance care plans but they are not the same.” 
    8. New Concept: Person-Driven Health Outcomes. “With funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation and The SCAN Foundation, NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) has developed an approach to individualized measurement for complex populations that is based on measuring how well organizations are helping individuals achieve personalized goals for their health and life. We call this approach person-driven outcomes.” 


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:36 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    STUDIES/ RESEARCH

    1. An Entirely New Type of Antidepressant Targets Postpartum Depression (26Oct18) A novel drug is intended to help women who suffer from depression after childbirth
    2. Breastfeeding might benefit babies by reducing stress. (12Oct18) “Exclusively breastfed 5-month-old babies who were exposed to a stressful situation had lower levels of cortisol and were less likely to have a fight-or-flight stress response, compared with those who weren't breastfed, researchers reported in Pediatrics. The findings suggest that maternal bonding during breastfeeding may increase babies' resilience to stress and other maternal nurturing behaviors, such as holding and cuddling, may be beneficial, even among those who were formula-fed, said Dr. Robert Wright, who wrote an accompanying editorial.” 
    3. Key Findings in Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. (12Oct18) . 1) A candidate’s position on continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is the top health care campaign issue for voters, among a list of issues provided. 2) When it comes to the Supreme Court and possible future court cases, once again, continued protections for people with pre-existing conditions weighs heavy on the minds of the public. 3) Almost six in ten (56 percent) Americans say they think President Trump and his administration are trying to make the ACA fail while one-third (32 percent) say they are trying to make the law work. 4) As of July 20, 2018, 14 states have not expanded their Medicaid programs and three states are considering expansion. 
    4. Report: World Faces $16T Cost From Mental Illness. (12Oct18) Failure to take action against a mental health crisis that affects every country could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030, according to a study by a task force of medical experts, advocates and patients. The "Lancet Commission" report cites expenditures for health care and the toll of lost productivity, education deficits, and outlays for public assistance and law enforcement. 
    5. The OC Tanner Report: Separate Praise from Feedback. (12Oct18)  Research by O.C. Tanner’s Global Culture Report finds that 42% of employees who received recognition from their leaders also received a message of “here’s how you can do better” within that same communication. Communicating with employees this way sends mixed messages, leaving them to wonder if your praise is genuine. Further, when recognition is paired with a suggestion for improvement, it sets up an atmosphere of “conditional” praise, in which the receiver wonders what, exactly, he or she must do to earn recognition that’s “worthy” of your notice. 
    6. Report: Younger Vets are an Exception to Lower Suicide Rate . “The rate of veterans ages 18 to 34 dying by suicide increased in 2016 even as the rate for veterans overall declined, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported. The VA credited "great strides in crisis intervention" overall.” 
    7. Arising Needs: Study: 20% in College Think of Harming Themselves. “A survey of more than 67,000 US college students found more than 20% reporting experiences so stressful during the past year that that they raised mental health issues, including thoughts of suicide. "There are some stresses that are exceeding the capacity of students to cope," said lead researcher Cindy Liu of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.”
    8. Study Results: For Adolescent Girls, Brain Function May Influence How Life Events Affect Depression. “A new study finds that recent life events can influence depressive symptoms differently in adolescent girls, depending on how the brain responds to winning and losing. The findings, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, suggest that a strong brain response to winning boosts the beneficial impact of positive experiences on symptoms, whereas a strong response to losing intensifies the detrimental impact of negative experiences on symptoms.”
    9. Study Results: Irregular Bedtimes Add Health Risks. “An analysis of sleeping patterns for almost 2,000 adults found those who had irregular bedtimes had higher body mass index readings, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and A1C, compared with those who had more regular sleeping patterns, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. People with irregular sleep patterns also had a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, depression and stress.” 


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:35 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    OPIOID CRISIS

    1. The Myth of What’s Driving the Opioid Crisis. (26Oct18) "Doctor-prescribed painkillers are not the biggest threat." As an addiction psychiatrist, I have watched with serious concern as the opioid crisis has escalated in the United States over the past several years, and overdose deaths have skyrocketed. … I have also watched a false narrative about this crisis blossom into conventional wisdom: The myth that the epidemic is driven by patients becoming addicted to doctor-prescribed opioids, or painkillers like hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g., Percocet). 

    2. THE SO-CALLED 'OPIOID OVERDOSE CRISIS' EXPLAINED (26Oct18) "In the U.S. and in countries politically influenced by it, authorities are proclaiming the existence of an 'opioid overdose crisis' or simply an 'opioid crisis'. However, as with all things related to policy concerning drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, it is pure fabrication designed to justify and help perpetuate a human-rights abuse, the 'War on Drugs'."
    3. The truth about the US ‘opioid crisis’ (26Oct18)–  "Prescriptions aren’t the problem The overdose epidemic is unmistakable. But it’s driven by illicit use of drugs. If moral panic results in more patients in pain, that would be a disaster."
    4.  Children, families in need get nods in opioid bill: (12Oct18) An agreement between the House and Senate regarding a sweeping opioid response bill last week contains a number of provisions, mostly modest, promoting the welfare of children and foster youth, according to The Chronicle of Social Change. Small boosts to family reunification and family-focused residential substance abuse treatment also emerged. 
    5. Biopsychosocial Approach to Pain Management (12Oct18) “Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined and has been cited as the number one reason to seek medical care in the United States. Medications including opioids remain important resources for pain management, but therapeutic techniques utilized by clinical social workers as part of interdisciplinary approaches to pain management are also effective. Learn about therapeutic techniques clinical social workers can use to help patients manage pain. 
    6. Up and Coming: Congressional Appropriators Propose Increase in HHS Budget to $90B . “Congressional appropriators have proposed to raise HHS' budget by $2.3 billion to $90.5 billion this year, which includes $3.8 billion in funding to fight the opioid abuse crisis. The spending package would allocate $1.5 billion of the opioid funding to state response grants, while community health centers will receive $200 million to fund their behavioral, mental health and addiction treatment services.”  Number of Opioid Abusers Fell Slightly Last Year . “Figures from the HHS' National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed the number of people who misused or were addicted to opioid painkillers dropped to 11.4 million last year from 11.8 million in 2016 and 12.7 million in 2015. Hydrocodone and oxycodone were the most commonly abused opioid drugs, and most opioid users got their drugs free from friends or relatives, but 34.6% got them from a physician, the survey found.” 
    7. Up and Coming: Congress Finalizes Opioid Legislative Package . “House and Senate lawmakers finalized a major opioid legislative package late Monday, and it won't include a technical change to Medicare Part D's "doughnut hole" language pushed by pharmaceutical firms. The final package includes a measure by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, that would temporarily lift restrictions on use of Medicaid funds for inpatient addiction treatment.” 
    8. Current Trends: Standard Drugs to Address Opioid Crisis. “At a time when the U.S. government is trying to deal with a nationwide opioid epidemic, many jails across the country are only now rolling out medicines to help inmates overcome addiction. And most of those jails dispense only one of the drugs currently available.” “Medication, when paired with counseling and social support, is considered the standard treatment for opioid addiction. Three medications treat addiction to opioids. Methadone and buprenorphine diminish opioid withdrawal symptoms and can reduce cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effect of opioids and also treats alcoholism.”


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:34 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR PARITY

    1. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: 10 Years Later. (26Oct18) This October marks the tenth anniversary of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), one of the signal achievements in the effort to expand access to mental health treatment.  While both counselors and patients have benefited from expanded insurance coverage, there is still work to be done to successfully implement this legislation.
    2. Mental Health Parity: CMHCs Can Be Hired By VA. “It is still a common thought that CHMCs cannot work at the VA. This thought may even be perpetrated by hiring managers at the VA. However, this is not the case. As long as you are a CMHC from a CACREP accredited program, you are eligible to work as a mental health specialist at the VA. Below, see how you can combat misinformation:”
    3. Mental Health Needs: Increased Need for Greater Parity for Mental Health Counselors . “Using Virginia as an example, as access to Medicaid increases, a need for additional mental health professionals becomes apparent. Many states, are in need of more mental health professionals that are able to see Medicaid patients. Join UMCHA and see how you can help the fight for CMHCs to be allowed on Medicaid/Medicare panels.” 


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:33 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    NEED FOR COUNSELORS

    1. Employers Say 'Mental Illness, Substance Abuse at 2 -year Peak.' (12Oct18) Mental illness and substance abuse issues are at the highest level they've been in two years, according to 60 percent of U.S. employers in a new study released by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Nearly 40 percent of organizations said that their employees are very or extremely stressed, and 39 percent said stress levels are more elevated now than two years ago. 
    2. Arising Needs: School Districts Struggle to Fill Mental Health Positions. “The school psychologist shortage rages on, with one federal study predicting deficits of more than 10,000 full-time psychologists by 2025. But districts have been exploring nontraditional options to provide comprehensive care to all students. The shortages are significant and severe, to the point where we’re in somewhat of a potential crisis,” says Eric Rossen, director of professional development and standards at the National Association of School Psychologists.” 
    3. Arising Needs: Texas Needs Thousands More Special-ed Teachers. “Now that Texas has removed the cap on special-education enrollments, the state will need an estimated $3 billion in additional funding and almost 9,000 new teachers to serve an estimated 30% increase in the number of students who need support and services. Already facing a teacher shortage, the state is offering grants to schools that need special-ed teachers for additional student evaluations.” 
    4. Arising Needs: Teens are Anxious and Depressed, and Turn to School nurses for help. But Most Illinois Schools Don't have One. “To meet the new demands, school nurses are offered extra training in mental health as well as resources from the National Association of School Nurses. They are adding relaxation rooms to the typical beds in the nurse’s office, and they have had to develop detailed cooperation plans with school guidance counselors and social workers, who are trained to handle such issues but, for better or worse, are not always the first stop for students seeking a nurturing response in a school building.” 
    5. Bills & Counseling: Merkley proposes mental health counselors in all public schools. “Marking National Suicide Prevention Week, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., announced the introduction of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act, new bicameral legislation they said would help fill the critical unmet need for school-based mental health services providers in elementary and secondary schools in America.” Co-sponsors bill to 'fill critical unmet need'. 


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:32 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    MEDICAID/ MEDICARE

    1. The New Medicaid/Medicare Card. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new Medicare cards to beneficiaries. Whereas each Medicare card formerly included the beneficiary’s Social Security number, each new card will use a unique Medicare number, also known as a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI is randomly assigned and does not replace an individual’s Social Security number.” 
    2.  S.D. Seeks to Impose Medicaid Work Requirements on Parents, Caretakers. “South Dakota has submitted a request to the Trump administration seeking approval for a program that would require some parents or caretakers who are covered by Medicaid to devote at least 80 hours per month to work, courses or other activities. If the program moves forward, South Dakota would become the first state to require the traditional Medicaid population to meet work requirements.” 
    3. Up and Coming: CMS: Medicaid Spending to Reach $1T by 2026 . “The CMS Office of the Actuary forecasts Medicaid spending to increase an average of 5.7% annually from $580.9 billion in 2016 to $1 trillion by 2026, with total enrollment expected to reach about 82.3 million. Expenditures for premiums and payments to health insurers are expected to rise by an average of 7.8% per year to $578 billion from 2017 to 2026, according to the report.” 


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:31 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    INSURANCE PAY CONCERNS

    1. NEW ICD-10-CM CODE CHANGES to Avoid Reimbursement Denials(26Oct18). "Effective October 1, 2018, several code changes to the International Classification of Diseases-10-Edition-Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), will be implemented by the National Center for Health Statistics, a federal agency who created the files under the authorization of the World Health Organization." 
    2. Billing for couples Counseling? (26Oct18). "In practice, insurance companies require that a client be identified as primary and be assigned a diagnostic label even though you are seeing a couple or family. I us ually bill the first session as a diagnostic (cpt 90791).  After that, it depends whether the insurance company allows the code for family therapy (cpt 90847)."
    3. Some Insurers Don't Pay for Hour Long Sessions. (12Oct18). “There are insurers who will not pay for and/or limit 90837 sessions. They will only reimburse for 90834 or lower. If you are paneled with these insurers you would have to get special advance authorization for hour long sessions.” 
    4. Social Workers Informed to Used “New Codes” for Insurance Billing Purposes.(12Oct18) “New ICD-10-CM Code Changes for Clinical Social Workers -- (below Link)  informs clinical social workers of new diagnostic codes that became effective October 1, 2018 
    5. How to Use 90837 Codes (hour session) without Insurance Backfire. “90837 in Private Practice -- This document discusses the use of 90837 and how one may avoid an overpayment request when using this code.


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:29 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    ICD 11 AND/OR DSM-6

    1. Is sex addiction real? Maybe Not, Therapists Say. “Claiming a sex addiction may be a go-to for misbehaving celebrities and politicians, but from a science perspective there isn't enough study to prove sex addiction is real, according to a professional organization of sex educators and therapists.” 
    2. Gaming addiction classified as disorder by WHO. 'Its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition "gaming disorder". The draft document describes it as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes "precedence over other life interests".' There is no such diagnosis in the DSM-5. 
    3. WHO declares sex addiction a mental disorder. “Known as compulsive sexual behaviour disorder, it is defined as an inability to control intense sexual urges leading to people neglecting their health despite often deriving no pleasure from being intimate, according to a report issued by the WHO.” “The updated ICD (11) is scheduled to be presented to all WHO member states at their annual assembly in May 2019. It is aimed the new classifications will come into effect in 2022, to allow countries time to plan and prepare medics.” There is no such diagnosis in the DSM-5.


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:27 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    HIPAA COMPLIANCE

    1. Top 10 HIPAA Violations and How to Avoid them. (26Oct18) As a practicing physician, the responsibility of ensuring Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance—for yourself and all staff members—rests squarely on your shoulders. HIPAA violations can incur substantial fines for an offending practice, as well as sanctions and loss of license to practice medicine for individuals. Yet, violations are common and often inadvertent.
    2. Use of Icloud for Clinical Storage.(12Oct18) Many clinical social workers have questions about relying on the cloud to protect patients’ health information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The use of the cloud allows a clinical social worker to access information on more than one device (computer, tablet, etc.) and enables group practices to share information across providers to promote continuity of care and standard business practice. Follow these best practices to maintain privacy and security standards when using the cloud in your practice. 


  • 26 Oct 2018 6:24 PM | Jenaveve Tucker (Administrator)

    DISTANCE COUNSELING

    1. Telemental / Telemehvavioral Health. “Telemental health has gone mainstream. Also referred to as “telebehavioral health,” “e-counseling,” “e-therapy,” “online therapy,” “cybercounseling,” or “online counseling,” telemental health is the provision of remote mental health care services (using modalities including videoconferencing, computer programs, and mobile applications) by a variety of different mental health providers, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists.”
    2.  Telebehavioral Health. “The SAMHSA-HRSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-Health Resources and Services Administration) Center for Integrated Health Solutions Telebehavioral Health Training and Technical Assistance Series can help safety net providers and rural health clinics understand and adopt telebehavioral health services. The implementation of telehealth services for mental health and substance use allows for increased access to these services, particularly in rural or underserved areas.” 
    3.  Standards for Technology (in Social Work Practice). “2017 Standards of Practice with Technology states practitioners need jurisdictional approval in both the state they and the client are in. This seems to include clients that travel frequently (work, dual residency). It goes further to specify the practitioner is responsible for knowing the jurisdictional laws where the client is reference emergency situations as well (reporting, abuse, suicide, etc.) .” 
    4.  Updated NASW Ethics. The 2017 revision includes 19 new changes that address ethical responsibilities when using technology. 


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