New Ride CARE Law Changes Emergency Detention Transportation Regulations

In April of 2021, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law Senate Bill 3, which brings changes to emergency detention and transportation protocol for mental health clinicians and law enforcement officers in cases of crises. Along with allowing law enforcement to use telemedicine services when called to mental health crises, the new law also altered the radius of protective custody and emergency detention transportation requirements. Oklahoma law enforcement officers are now only required to secure transport of individuals experiencing mental health crises to the nearest facility within a 30-mile radius of the law enforcement headquarters.

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The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 Introduced to the US Senate

Earlier this month, the federal Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 was introduced with bipartisan support. The VAWA was initially enacted in 1994 and was the first federal attempt to provide protections for targets of domestic assault. It has since been expanded and reauthorized multiple times with broadened definitions and availability of resources for those who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.

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New Bill May Change Referral Process for Oklahoma Drug Court Programs

As outlined in a previous article, 6 Bills Mental Healthcare Professionals Should Be Watching in 2022, a recently introduced bill may soon change the way referrals to Oklahoma Drug Court systems are made. Senate Bill 1548 was introduced by State Senator Roger Thompson earlier this year and would transfer the gatekeeping power of drug court referrals from District Attorneys to judges. Though the District Attorneys would still have the right to object to the referral, ultimately the judge would have the final authority in deciding who is eligible for the diversion program.

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OBBHL Now Accepting CEU Provider Applications

During its regularly scheduled board meeting on Feb 11, 2022, the Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health Licensure finalized its newest plan to address problems with its continuing education approval processes.

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Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health Now Considering Rule Changes

On Friday February 11th, the Oklahoma Board of Behavioral Health conducted its regularly scheduled board meeting. Along with waiving the face-to-face continuing education requirements for LPC and LMFT clinicians, the board also created a committee to consider potential board rule changes.

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OBBHL Waives In-person CEU Requirement

During today's board meeting, the OBBHL voted to waive in-person CEU requirements for Oklahoma LPC, LMFTs, and LBPs. The board cited "the continued public health crisis" in it's unanimous decision. The waiver was backdated to January 1, 2022 and extends to December 31,2022. 

Due to this decision, Oklahoma LPCs, LMFTs, and LBPs may gain all of their CEU requirements online-including ethics and supervision, until December 31,2022.

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Bill to Protect Conversion Therapy in Oklahoma Passes State Committee

 

Earlier this week, Representative Jim Olsen introduced House Bill 2973 to the Oklahoma State Legislature, which he referred to as the “Parental and Family Rights in Counseling Protection Act.” As summarized in the OCI article, “6 Bills Mental Healthcare Professionals Should be Watching in 2022,” HB 2973 would protect conversion therapy from being prohibited in the state. Yesterday, the State Powers Committee passed the bill after a debate on the language of the law and potential effects it could have on Oklahoma youth.

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6 Bills Mental Healthcare Professionals Should Be Watching in 2022

As the Oklahoma legislative session draws nearer, state lawmakers have recently been introducing new bills to the legislature. Many of these proposals may have implications for mental health treatment in Oklahoma. In fact, here are 6 bills mental healthcare professionals should be watching in 2022.

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Want to serve on a licensing board? You will have to do this first!

The Oklahoma State Board of Behavioral Health, Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, and the State Board of Licensed Social Workers are entities consisting of licensed professionals and members of the public who are tasked with creating rules and resolutions for mental healthcare workers practicing across the state. Depending on the board by which one is licensed, mental health professionals must either be recommended by an organization or complete an application directly with the office of Governor Stitt to be considered for appointment as a member of their licensing board. So here are the steps Oklahoma clinicians must take to be appointed for board membership.

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Navigating Taxes and Retirement: Tips for Mental Health Professionals- Part 1

Having a private practice or working as a contract clinician can provide flexibility and freedom that salary positions may not grant. When navigating tax season and retirement goals, this independence can also lead to more responsibility--and questions.

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Navigating Taxes and Retirement: Tips for Mental Health Professionals- Part 2

 

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Navigating Taxes and Retirement: Tips for Mental Health Professionals- Part 3

 

Though the Federal Tax Day only comes once per year, there are multiple records to be kept and payments to be made throughout the year to make sure therapists are compliant with state and federal tax law.

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Navigating Taxes and Retirement: Tips for Mental Health Professionals- Part 4

After years of maintaining a private practice or working as a contractor, eventually most therapists will choose to retire. While many salaried clinicians have retirement savings options provided by their employers through 401Ks, most self-employed clinicians find themselves planning for retirement on their own.

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ODMHSAS soon to launch the Oklahoma Comprehensive Crisis Response Plan

Over the past two years, mental health concerns have increased substantially among Oklahomans. According to a survey by the Kaiser Foundation, diagnoses of depression and anxiety have increased more than three-fold in the state compared to before the pandemic and Oklahoma Watch reported that in 2021 Oklahoma saw a near 10% uptick in completed suicides since 2019. The Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is hoping to address the growing need of mental health care with the launch of a crisis response plan.

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Latest Edition of the DSM to Be Released in March of 2022

Nine years after the release of the 5th edition, the American Psychiatric Association is set to publish a newly revised version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in March of this year. Though the APA has published changes to diagnostic criteria since 2013, the new DSM will also hold many new clinical considerations. The DSM-5-TR includes the addition of a diagnosis, changes to diagnostic criteria of previously-recognized disorders, and additional symptom codes.

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New Changes for Billing Tele-Counseling Coming January 1

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid has recently revised its "Point of Service" billing codes for tele-counseling to amend code "2" and to add code "10". Both revisions are to go into effect January 1, 2022.

Code "2" was amended to "Telehealth Provided Other than in Patient’s Home" while Code "10" was added to designate "Telehealth Provided in Patient’s Home".

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New Year, New Law: Oklahoma to Mandate Telehealth Reimbursement Parity

  

A new year means new changes in the way insurance companies must reimburse telehealth services in Oklahoma. Starting January 1st, 2022, Senate Bill 674 will be enacted into law, granting parity in the compensation of telehealth medical appointments in the state. Once in place, insurance companies will be required to reimburse healthcare professionals equally for both telehealth and in-office visits.

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No Surprises: Mental Health Professionals Soon Required to Give” Good Faith” Estimates to Cash Pay Clients

Earlier this year, a federal law titled the No Surprises Act was created and passed into law in an effort to protect healthcare consumers from unexpected medical costs. The federal mandate, which is set to go into effect on January 1st, 2022, will require healthcare professionals to disclose the expected cost of treatment before the interventions are implemented. Many mental health professionals have found themselves wondering how the new law may affect their practice.

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Are Those "Last Minute" CEUs Approved?

With the December 31st deadline approaching, many Oklahoma LPCs, LMFTs, and LCSWs are looking for last minute CEUs.

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7 Things Mental Health Professionals Should Consider Before Leaving the Office this Holiday Season

Both professionally and personally, the holidays can be a busy time of the year for therapists. Many find themselves traveling or taking time away from work to spend time with loved ones and celebrate the season. Whether a clinician plans to be out of the office or continues to provide counseling over the next few weeks, there are many aspects to consider to make sure clients’ needs are met, including,

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