Membership Blog

  • 30 Nov 2018 6:41 PM | Dennis Alan Tucker
    1. Big Brother? Facebook Increasingly Reliant on A.I. To Predict Suicide Risk(November 17, 2018) — (NPRA year ago, Facebook started using artificial intelligence to scan people's accounts for danger signs of imminent self-harm. Facebook Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis is pleased with the results so far.

  • 30 Nov 2018 6:33 PM | Jenaveve Tucker
    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'. 

  • 30 Nov 2018 6:32 PM | Jenaveve Tucker
    1. NAMI Excited With New Opportunities To Improve Medicaid Mental Health Care (11/30/2018) —Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Health & Human Services, announced that the Administration will allow states to apply for Medicaid waivers to pay for mental health treatment in inpatient settings known as IMDs, or institutions of mental disease.

    2. 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.” 
    3.  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.” 
    4. 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.” 

  • 30 Nov 2018 6:27 PM | Dennis Alan Tucker
    1. Proposed Immigration Rule Change: Public Charge (November 30, 2018) On October 10, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule related to public charge in the Federal Register. The proposed rule is not current law. We are many steps away from a final rule and its implementation. We are currently in a comment period for the proposed rule that ends December 10, 2018. All interested individuals and organizations have until that date to submit comments. DHS must then review and consider all submitted comments before the rule becomes final. The final rule will then be published in the Federal Register. We expect it to be many months before publication of a final rule. Even after publication, legal challenges could delay implementation.
  • 30 Nov 2018 6:23 PM | Dennis Alan Tucker

    1. Legal Attempts to Define Gender. (November 30, 2018) WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.1

  • 30 Nov 2018 4:22 PM | Dennis Alan Tucker
    1. North Ogden VA facility helping with mental health counseling for veterans (November 30, 2018) NORTH OGDEN, Utah — (KUTV) — Layton Police said a man involved in a situation that led to a S.W.A.T. situation Tuesday morning had a history with the military. The man, 43-year-old Jarrett Lichenstein, took his own life, police said. Those who work at the Veterans Affairs facilities want veterans to know help is available. Walk-up counseling is available at the Salt Lake facility and at a new satellite center in North Ogden closer to where the S.W.A.T situation unfolded.
    2. Childhood anxiety: How Utah schools are addressing rising mental health challenges (November 6, 2018) —AMERICAN FORK — The first day of school brought some challenges for Valerie Norton’s daughter. The third grader, who had never before demonstrated signs of anxiety, began having daily meltdowns.

    3. Utah teen mental health issues are on the rise November 1, 2018 —SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Teen mental health issues are on the rise, according to a new report released by the Utah Department of Health.

  • 26 Oct 2018 6:34 PM | Jenaveve Tucker
    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 6:31 PM | Jenaveve Tucker
    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

    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


    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. 

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