Behavior Analysts as LMHPs – Bill in 2018 Session

by | Jan 25, 2018 | Medicaid, News, Policy

VABA has asked Senator Barker (via our lobbyist) to put in a bill that amends the DBHDS regulations to include licensed behavior analysts as licensed mental health professionals (LMHP).  It will be heard in the Senate Health and Education Committee on February 1, 2018.  YOU CAN HELP!

Write your Senators and tell them about our profession and how we fit the LMHP description.  Don’t know who your Senator is?  Click here.

Please email if you have any questions or want to be more involved.

SB 762 – Adding Behavior Analysts to the Definition of LMHP

General talking points:

  • SB762 would add licensed behavior analysts to those professions included in the definition of a licensed mental health professional under DBHDS regulations. Section 1 bill will allow for fast track regulations instead of full APA process.
  • This is a technical fix that was not addressed when the General Assembly first licensed behavior analysts in 2012. The lack of their inclusion in the definition of an LMHP was highlighted last session (2017) during consideration of the bill carried by Senator Barker that registered QMHPs.
  • Behavior analysts are commonly known to provide services to children with autism, but the practice of behavior analysis is suited to help treat both children and adult with a variety of disabilities. It is important that they be recognized as LMHPs so that LBAs are included in those allowed to participate in or oversee licensed service providers for their licensed adult and children’s services.
  • In both DBHDS regulations and DMAS provider manuals, the LMHP reference is used to help delineate who can provide or oversee services.
  • LBAs can be an important provider option in the behavioral healthcare space and we want to ensure that they are not experiencing unnecessary barriers to serving individuals in need of service alongside our other mental health providers.
  • There is no financial impact for this bill.

If questions arise:

  • We have worked with DBHDS, DMAS, and DHP to make sure the bill is in proper form and they have no objections.
  • Adding LBAs to the LMHP definition in DBHDS and DMAS regs would have no effect on the professional practice standards just as they have no effect on the professional practice of LCSW, LPC or Clinical psychologist who are listed in the current regs.
  • Note that an earlier version of the bill included LABAs, but we had to amend it to get buy in.  The bill just includes LBAs at this time.