Log in

Notes From the President

Information and thoughts from VTMHCA leadership.

  • December 04, 2023 5:29 PM | Phil Prothero (Administrator)

    We are less than one month away from counselors being able to bill Medicare for patient services! Which also means there are a zillion questions about how to navigate the government bureaucracy of the enrollment process. 

    To help members navigate this, I have created a clearinghouse all of the available information in one place. In the Members Only Area of the website, you will find a page called Medicare Info, which has two pages: Medicare enrollment info and Medicare billing info. I will be updating these pages as I glean more information.

    Because this information is under the Members Only section, you must be logged into your account to access it. 

  • September 25, 2023 11:54 AM | Phil Prothero (Administrator)

    We are getting closer to the day when LCMHCs can accept Medicare! 

    AMHCA recently sent out the latest information on when and how LCMHC's can begin the enrollment process. Here is the update:

    Medicare Releases New Information on Enrollment Procedures and Related Processes for MFTs and MHCs

    Official Enrollment Likely Begins in November

    CMS has alerted AMHCA that they have just posted a new “Medicare Enrollment for Providers & Suppliers” page with an additional special section under “News and Additional Resources” entitled “New Provider Type: Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Mental Health Counselors (MHCs).”

    You can find the new posting on Marriage and Family Therapist and Mental Health Counselor Enrollment materials at:

    Please keep in mind that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) are not officially accepting enrollment applications for Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors until November when it is likely that the Final 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule is published in the Federal Register (when at that time you can officially begin to enroll). However, you can get a head start now by reviewing the forms you will need to complete and supporting documentation.

    To assist in this process, the CMS Center for Program Integrity has developed a comprehensive document entitled: “Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) and Mental Health Counselors (MHC) Provider Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) September 2023.”

    You can learn more by visiting the AMHCA Medicare website: Medicare - American Mental Health Counselors Association (

  • September 09, 2023 12:57 PM | Phil Prothero (Administrator)

    The pandemic has really done a number on so many people's lives. It is becoming more and more common to hear from my clients about the significant, life changing effects the pandemic has had on their lives. It certainly has impacted my life too.

    VTMHCA and other organizations have also been impacted. We were already struggling to find members to step into leadership roles and the huge difficulty of the pandemic has really exacerbated that problem. A small group of active members have created what we call the VTMHCA Revitalization Committee to work with NHMHCA and AMHCA to hopefully find some ways to shift VTMHCA back on the path of energetic sustainability. 

  • September 01, 2023 7:35 PM | Phil Prothero (Administrator)

    Vermont OPR has created some new pathways toward licensure in an effort to remove barriers that have prevented people from becoming licensed.

    "OPR is implementing licensing reforms to make sure there is equitable access to licensing for the professions we regulate. By recognizing out-of-state experience and training, reducing costs, and creating alternate paths to licensure, we are breaking down barriers to live and work in Vermont as a licensed professional."

    OPR has created pages of information related to:

    • Fast track endorsement
    • Veterans, Active-Duty Service Members, and Active-Duty Spouses
    • Foreign Trained Professionals, New Americans & Refugees
    • Individuals with Criminal Backgrounds
    Visit: OPR's Reducing Barriers to Licensure site for more information
  • August 17, 2023 7:46 PM | Phil Prothero (Administrator)

    In 2022, Act 117, An act relating to licensure of mental health professionals, was passed into law. Several parts of this act impact mental health counselors in Vermont.

    One part of this Act updates Sec. 4. 26 V.S.A. § 3269 regarding continuing education requirements for licensing renewal. Here are the changes:

    • Synchronous virtual continuing education credits shall be approvable and accepted as live in-person training. 
    • Continuing education requirements shall include requiring one or more continuing education units in the area of systematic oppression and anti-oppressive practice, or in related topic areas, consistent with the report recommendations from the Health Equity Advisory Commission required pursuant to 2021 Acts and Resolves No. 33, Sec. 5 for improving cultural competency, cultural humility, and antiracism in Vermont’s health care system. 
    You can read more about these changes by reading the text of Act 117, which is available on Vermont's Act 117 Legislature webpage (page 4).

    Another part of this Act requires OPR to conduct a Mental Health Licensure Study. The purpose is to consider: 

    • the possibility of streamlining the licensure of mental health professionals practicing in the State, including a review of the feasibility of creating one mental health professional license with endorsements for specific mental health professions;
    • whether additional regulation of supervisors for mental health professionals in training is necessary, including a review of potential limits on areas of mental health work a supervisor may supervise based on the supervisor’s own work experience and education, the rate or fee a supervisor may charge for providing supervision, and the number of supervisees assigned to one supervisor; and
    • the barriers for individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC), refugees and new Americans, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with low income, individuals with disabilities, and those individuals with lived mental health and substance use experience entering mental health professions regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation.
    More information on this study can be found at the OPR's Mental Health Licensing Study webpage.
  • June 21, 2023 10:42 PM | Phil Prothero (Administrator)

    Vermont has officially joined the nationwide counseling compact! A special thank you to member, Kirke McVay who worked especially hard to get Vermont to sign on.

    The details of the compact are still be worked out, but essentially, because Vermont is now part of the compact, this will open up the ability to apply for the privilege to practice in other compact states. 

    For more information, visit the Counseling Compact website.

 Copyright (2024) Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association

Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association

PO Box 1132, White River Junction, VT 05001


VTMHCA is a 501 (c)(6) non-profit organization. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software