Important Information Regarding the LPCC Proposal
April 12, 2006
On November 18, 2005, the Board announced that in an effort to enable Licensed Professional Counselors to be recognized as mental health professionals under the Comprehensive Adult and Children’s Mental Health Acts, it would be proposing legislation for the 2006 legislative session that would create a second tier of licensure. This credential was to be known as the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (“LPCC”). It was hoped by the Board that this credential would aid professional counselors in obtaining Medical Assistance (MA) provider status, as well as insurance reimbursement.
In order to ensure passage of this proposal, the Board had several meetings with representatives from the Department of Human Services, as well as representatives from the professional associations and mental health associations. The focus of these meetings were the minimum educational and training requirements that persons seeking the LPCC would need to meet in order to be recognized as mental health professionals. While the discussions were primarily directed towards the LPCC proposal, they included a review of the training of all master’s level mental health professionals.
Regrettably, the Board and DHS were unable to reach a consensus on these minimum requirements prior to the start of the 2006 legislative session. It was felt by the Board, and by representatives of the other mental health professions, that DHS’s proposed minimum requirements set the bar “too high,” making the LPCC extremely difficult to obtain without substantial additional education and training. Accordingly, rather than proceed with the proposal, the Board decided to table it for the 2006 session and, instead, continue ongoing dialogue with DHS and other interested parties to see if a more reasonable proposal can be reached prior to the 2007 legislative session.
Interestingly, Representative Jim Abeler introduced legislation (HF2806) which would require DHS and the mental health licensing boards to engage in a study in order to determine these minimum requirements. The bill has passed the House, and it is currently in the Health and Family Security Committee in the Senate. If it passes, the results of this study would most likely serve to establish the requirements for the LPCC.