AMHCA Publications

A Mental Health Access Improvement Roadmap: Policy Recommendations from the AMHCA Board of Directors 

05-14-2021 14:56

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Expansion of Medical and Behavioral Health Services

The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) promotes the expansion of medical and behavioral health services that are also included in the ten essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). AMHCA advocates for inclusion of Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs). The CMHC acronym applies to all clinical mental health counselors irrespective of their state title (e.g., Licensed Professional Counselor or LPC).

Although recognized by the National Academy of Medicine for inclusion in federal laws, CMHCs are barred from reimbursement by federal Medicare prohibitions and Medicaid limitations. This limits patient care by prohibiting treatment by over 140,000 licensed mental health care providers as they comprise the largest sector – 37 percent – of the licensed behavioral health care workforce in the United States.

Our Goal

Our goal is that all Americans will no longer separate mental health from physical health when it comes to access to care or quality of treatment. The next generation must grow up knowing that mental health is a key component of overall health and there is no shame, stigma, or barriers to seeking out care.

Clinical Mental Health Counselors stand ready to engage in a constructive and thoughtful dialogue to ensure the success of future reform efforts. We look forward to continued collaboration on these important issues.


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