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Advocating for our masters- and doctorate-level psychologists in Washington

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Vermont's new Minor Consent law allows minors (individuals under the age of 18) to consent to outpatient mental health treatment without parental consent.  This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  It does not allow for prescribing medication to minors without parental consent.

New England Psychologist:    Vermont prison complex meant to accommodate multiple populations.

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During the 2018 APA Practice Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Lynda Marshall (VPA Executive Director) and Dr Rick Barnett (VPA Legislative Advocacy Chair) met with staff from the offices of Senators Leahy and Sanders to discuss issues related to psychology and mental health care. 

  1. They asked Senator Sanders to co-sponsor a pending bill that would add doctorate-level psychologists to the definition of "physician" under Medicare.  Senator Leahy is already a co-sponsor of this bill.  See more details here.
  2. They asked both Senators to oppose any funding cuts for Medicaid.
  3. They asked both Senators to introduce legislation that would allow psychologist-masters and LCMHCs to receive reimbursement for services under Medicare.  LICSWs can receive reimbursement, but no other masters-level therapists are able to receive reimbursement.  This cuts in half the number of masters-level therapists to which Vermonters on Medicaid have access.
  4. Finally, they discussed issues with the staff issues about the significant reductions in TriCare reimbursement and significantly higher copays for patients, which is unacceptable.