See the below:
Connecticut Medical Assistance Program Provider Bulletin 2023-18
Policy Transmittal 2023-03 March 2023
Andrea Barton Reeves, J.D, Commissioner-Designate
Effective Date: May 12, 2023
As you may already know, Connecticut has enacted a law requiring all licensed healthcare providers to participate in Connecticut’s Health Exchange Information (HIE), called Connie. Connie was established by statute to create a way for health care providers to electronically share information. The initial requirement is to file a “Commitment to Connect” with Connie by May 3rd, 2023. Further information and the online Commitment to Connect form are available on the Connie website.
Significant concerns exist within the mental health provider community regarding Connie and issues of client consent and confidentiality. We understand that these concerns and others have been brought to the attention of the Office of Health Strategy on several occasions.
On March 2, CCA co-signed in a collaborative, interdisciplinary letter to the Governor and the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) expressing some of these concerns and requesting an extension of the May 3 deadline. The OHS March 27 response indicates the May 3 deadline is unchangeable without legislative action. While efforts are underway to seek a possible legislative extension, as of the issuance of this update, the May 3 deadline is expected to remain in effect. We will keep you apprised as quickly as possible about these efforts, which continue to develop. To view the letters, see below documents.
More information can be found in this presentation provided to the Behavioral Health Partnership- PowerPoint Presentation and the Connie FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions Connecting People for Better Health.
If you are interested in working with CCA regarding Connie compliance issues we would love to have you join our efforts. Please contact PPLC Co-Chairs - Karen Caffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jocelyn Novella at email@example.com
$100 Counseling Student Professional Development Scholarship
Students may apply for this award to cover/contribute to the cost of professional association membership, workshop, or conferences (upcoming or recent past). Awards will be granted to one student from each counselor education program in Connecticut (9 awards in total). Multiple awards may be awarded to students from the same institution if applications are not received from each university.
Eligible Counselor Education Programs
Central Connecticut; Fairfield University; University of Saint Joseph; Sacred Heart University; Southern Connecticut ; University of Bridgeport; University of Connecticut; University of New Haven; Western Connecticut
Note: Students must be a member of CCA and CACES division to be considered.
In 100 words or less, provide a description of the professional development activity or conference. Include an explanation for how your attendance will inform your development as a counselor.
Dr. Robert Colbert Social Justice Award
This award is presented to one student annually in recognition of Dr. Robert Colbert, a Connecticut counselor educator committed to social justice. This award will be presented at CCA’s annual conference and will acknowledge the work of a graduate student who demonstrates a commitment to social justice.
In 200-250 words please highlight initiatives that focus on addressing disparities, promoting resilience, and breaking down obstacles for underserved populations, particularly with youth.
The winner will receive $300, a personalized acknowledgement, and free registration to the CCA Conference. Students must be a member of CCA to be considered.
$500 Early Career Counselor Educator Research Award
Eligible to full-time Counselor Educators in their first 6 years of employment as a Counselor Educator.
Application will include a description of the research study, relevance to the counselor education profession, proposed use of funds and a timeline for the research milestones. Will be requested to give permission to read the description at the CCA conference, if chosen for the award.
Note: Counselor Educator must be a CACES member to be considered. CACES awards committee will choose the recipient of the award. Awardee will be recognized at the annual CCA conference.
Please see the important legislative alert information below.
Join us at our upcoming event!
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CCA is prioritizing joining the Counseling Compact this legislative session and as such is looking for CCA members to advocate for the profession's inclusion in the Compact.
Over 89% of respondents to our recent survey supported joining the Compact! With this in mind, attached are two documents that can be used to reach out to legislators and ask them to propose legislation. The first document is a one-pager with talking points that can be used to craft a message and the second is a proposed bill that can be shared directly with legislators.
The CGA website is still being updated to reflect the new legislature and the updated committees. We will share a complete contact list when available. However, in the meantime, you can utilize the cga.ct.gov website and the CGA Find Your Legislator tool to determine who represents you. Or you can look at all legislators via town at https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/content/townlist.asp. Keep in mind that the new legislature has new district lines after the redistricting process and a large incoming freshman legislative class who has yet to serve in the legislature.
Committee Bills can begin to be proposed by any legislator up until Friday, January 13th. After that point, it is up to the committee leadership what bills will be heard and/or raised by the committee. We will also be following up in the coming days with an initial bill-tracking list and instructions on how to keep track of bills throughout the session.
Below is a sample email that can be used to ask legislators to propose the Counseling Compact language! We need legislative support to make this a reality so your advocacy is helpful. If you do connect with a legislator, please let me or one of the PPLC co-chairs Karen Caffrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jocelyn Novella (email@example.com) know so that we can make sure to follow up with those legislators during the session.
SAMPLE OUTREACH (feel free to add your own personality/spin as this is a template email)
To: [INSERT YOUR LEGISLATOR EMAIL AND IF KNOWN COPY THEIR AIDE]
Subject: Ct Counseling Association- Support to Join Counseling Compact Needed
Hello [Rep/Senator Name],
Congratulations on your recent election to the legislature! My name is [name] and I am a licensed professional counselor [or associate or student] in Connecticut and a member of the CT Counseling Association and [live/work] in [town]. Our association is seeking legislation in the 2023 session to join the Counseling Compact.
By way of background, Licensed Professional Counselors have never been more in-demand and at a time when telemedicine has expanded, and people are living without attention to borders there is a need to ensure counselors can provide patients with continuity of care. Connecticut counselors cannot provide continuity of care to Connecticut residents who temporarily travel or work outside the state without becoming licensed in the state to which the patient has traveled.
Also, when counselors move from other states, including military spouses, they must gain licensure in Connecticut. Obtaining licensure by reciprocity can be a lengthy process and require the laborious task of ensuring each applicant has the requisite experience to meet the licensure requirements, potentially interrupting or reducing the provision of mental health services. [TALK ABOUT ANY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IMPACTING LICENSURE OR CONTINUITY OF CARE THAT WOULD BE HELPED BY THE COMPACT].
I would therefore ask if you would consider proposing a bill for Licensed Professional Counselors to join the Counseling Compact. I have attached a draft proposed bill that can be utilized. I welcome the opportunity to speak further about the value of the compact and appreciate your attention to this important issue.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me at [contact info- email and/or phone].
[NAME, RESIDENT OF OR EMPLOYEE INFO CAN ALSO BE ADDED IF YOU WANT]
Save the Date - January 20th!
We hope that you can join us at the next scheduled virtual continuing education workshop!