Maryland Mental Health Services - Removing Barriers for Consumers

Maryland Mental Health Services - Removing Barriers for Consumers

July 1, 2020
Petition to
Maryland Insurance Administration and 4 others
Signatures: 87Next Goal: 100
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Why this petition matters

Started by Stephanie Knarr

Despite Mental Health parity laws, Maryland Mental Health Professionals are treated differently than Medical Professionals when it comes to insurance billing for both private and public health insurance. 

This creates barriers for consumers receiving the highest quality services from cutting edge therapists.

Therapist Interns and Therapists with Provisional Licenses are required to have clinical supervision by a more experienced licensed therapist and Approved Supervisor.

However, there is a lack of clarity regarding why experienced Mental Health Professionals with Supervision status are not billing private and public insurance companies for services that they are supervising and are legally responsible for. 

By contrast, more experienced Medical Doctors in private practice, clinics, and hospital settings regularly bill both public and private health insurance for services that are provided by interns and residents. 

The more experienced doctor is responsible for the medical service and must review and sign off on the work of the intern and resident.  The service is then billed under the name of the Supervising Medical Doctor.

Therefore, there is a difference between medical and mental health professionals.

This difference creates barriers to services for mental health therapy consumers and barriers for learning opportunities for mental health professionals who are new in the field.

We are petitioning the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Insurance Companies, and the Maryland Legislature to change this practice for several reasons:

1)      There is a demand for mental health services, including psychotherapy and counseling services; there is no reason to create additional barriers for consumers to receive services.

2)      Therapist Interns and Therapists with Provisional Licensure within the field of Mental Health find it difficult to get internship placement.  Part of the reason is that there is no incentive for experienced Mental Health professionals to provide internship placements when they cannot be reimbursed for services by private and public health insurance companies.

3)      When it comes to private health insurance, consumers want to be able to use their private health insurance during this time of rising insurance health care premiums.  Therefore, most consumers will seek therapists who will accept their insurance.  By not allowing experienced therapist supervisors to bill, the health insurance company is creating additional barriers for consumers who need services. 

Support now
Signatures: 87Next Goal: 100
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Medicare
  • Maryland Insurance Administration
  • Maryland House of Delegates
  • Private Health Insurance Companies
  • Maryland Medicaid