Illinois Mental Health Counselors

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What Kind of Therapy am I allowed to do?

A LCPC / LPC can provide counseling services that they are qualified for by training, education and experience.

Obviously you can not provide services beyond your scope "brain surgery", etc).
Other areas of confusion can include "Family Therapy" or "Family Counseling" . No laws in Illinois restrict "Family or Marital or Substance Abuse or Addiction Counseling" to any specific license. 

FMLA
Can a LCPC certify a serious health condition under the Family Medical Leave Act?

Licensure Questions

Counselor Incapacitation or Termination of Practice

Process: Three areas:

1. Education
2. Experience-Supervision
3. Examination
A. Apply for licensure.
B. It will take approximately 8 weeks to hear back from IDFPR.
C. Once your application is approved schedule the exam.
D. The exam is offered at computer centers.
E. It will take 2-4 weeks to receive notice that you are licensed.

FMLA
If you are a "covered employer" under the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") with "covered employees," you should ensure that you are only accepting certifications of serious health conditions from those health care providers allowed under the FMLA. That definition includes: doctors of medicine or osteopathy who are authorized to practice medicine or surgery in the states in which the doctor practices; podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical social workers, physician assistants (who are authorized to practice under state law and who pare performing within the scope of their practice as defined under state law) and certain Christian Science Practitioners. 29 C.F.R. § 825.125(a)(1); 29 C.F.R. § 825.125(b).

However, if you or your company's health plan accepts certification of a serious health condition from any health care provider to substantiate a claim for benefits, you must also accept that certification from the provider for FMLA leave. 29 C.F.R. § 825.125(b)(4).

Who is not on the list? Nurses (unless falling into one of the categories above), physical therapists, massage therapists, counselors (unless falling into one of the categories above), hypnotists, acupuncturists, dental hygienists, any medical technicians, pharmacists, and opticians.

Keep in mind that once you accept a certification and certify the claim as covered under FMLA, you will likely not be able to easily rescind it if you discover that your company has accepted it from someone other than a "health care provider." Be careful, and remember your right to reject certifications that do not comply with the law.

Licensure Application

Past Criminal Convictions?
Required clinical supervision to become a LCPC
Where can I see the rules?
I have taken a special training or an intensive training, etc. Or I have 20 years experience, etc. Can I get a waiver for the degree, test, experience? NO
 

Examination

There are 2 exams.
The exams are owned by NBCC.
You do not need to join NBCC or become a NCC (National Certified Counselor) to take the exams.
NCE Exam. This is required to become a LPC.

NCMHCE Exam. Both the NCE exam and the NCMHCE exams are required to become a LCPC.
If you have already taken the NCE exam you do not need to retake it.
 

Education Licensure Questions

Do I need a DEGREE in counseling/clinical psychology/art therapy/dance therapy? YES
Can I have a non-clinical degree and just take the required classes? NO
Is a degree from a CACREP program required? NO

I have a degree from a CACREP program but not all the classes listed as required? IT DOESN'T MATTER. If you have a degree from a CACREP program you have satisfied the educational requirements.

What classes are required? See list. #5 A-M

What if I have the correct degree but not all the required classes?

Where is a description of the classes? Section 1375.APPENDIX A   Course Descriptions
Will a degree from an online program qualify for licensure? 
Can I send my transcript to someone to be evaluated for deficiencies? NO. You can apply for licensure and receive a list of deficiencies.
What does a 1 year residency mean? One year's residence is defined as 24 semester hours taken on a full-time or part-time basis at the institution.
 

Fees

Application IDFPR.     $150.00
Exam Fees: NBCC/Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE)
                  $   per exam
Pearson Vue oversees the exam sites. (no additional fee)
Continental Testing connects your exam results with IDFPR.  
 
 
 
 

Licensure Testing
 Test Retakes? (What if I fail?)
 

Insurance / Managed Care

 medicaid Billing
 Medicare Billing Information on billing "Incident To" is available in our members only area under Private Practice
 

Recoupment

Recoupment case law

State Laws on recoupment

Can LPC bill ILBCBS?

 

Licensure Application

Criminal convictions
Previous simple DUI or DWI will not reject your application.
Most misdemeanors and some felonies will not reject your application.
Forcible felonies
Required clinical supervision to become a LCPC
Licensure require the applicant to:  (more details)

"the supervisor shall have met with the applicant at least one hour each week.  The supervision means the review of counseling and case management." They could meet every other week for 2 hours each time. 

The supervisor they meet with can be at their place of employment or contracted outside their place of employment.

The supervision must be live face to face. No electronic devices.

The supervisor must be a LCPC, LCSW, Lic Psychologist or Psychiatrist. (LMFT is not allowed)

Supervision can be individual or a group of no more than 5.

 

Continuing Education

 CEs / CEUs / PDs
CE=Continuing Education. In Illinois this is measured in clock hours. Illinois mental health professionals licensed through IDFPR earn CEs towards their license renewal.
 CEUs=Continuing Education Units. Illinois licensure does not utilize CEs. This term is frequently confused for CEs.
 PDs=Professional Development Units Illinois school counselors / teachers may earn PDs attending trainings. PDs are not transferrable to CEs.
 
 Does the training you attend qualify for CEs?
IDFPR lists qualified providers.
  • IMHCA -all trainings for LPC-LCPC/LSW-LCSW/LMFT/Psychologists
  • ICA -all trainings for LPC-LCPC/LSW-LCSW/LMFT/Psychologists
  • NBCC / Affiliates
  • ACA / Affiliates
  • AAMFT / Affiliates
  • EAPA / Affiliates
  • APA / Affiliates
  • IDFPR licensed providers
 I want to attend a training by XYZ, etc. How do I know if it qualifies for CEs?
Look at their CE policy to see if it lists one of the above groups. Call them to verify who provides the CEs for the event.
 Can I earn CEs online?
You must earn 30 CEs in every renewal period. The current renewal period is  is 4/1/19-3/31/21. You can earn up to 15 CEs by methods not in person. i.e. correspondence, webinars, live webinars, online, etc. The other 15 CEs must be physically in person.
CE Rules

Out of State Training Approval

Education Licensure Requirements

 

What if I have the correct degree but not all the required classes? The licensure rules currently require a 48 semester hour degree in Illinois. #5

The education rules are identical for a LPC / LCPC.
If you are missing some of the required classes but you have the correct degree you can make up the missing classes. They must be from a graduate counseling program. At least 3 semester hours each and in person or online.

Section 1375.45  Professional Education for Professional Counselor License d) 2.)  List of Illinois Universities

Some schools will allow you to take individual classes and others will require you to enroll in a degree program.
Online Degrees - A degree from a CACREP program meets the educational requirements. Online or in person doesn't matter. The list of classes doesn't matter.

An online degree from a non-CACREP program is not allowed in Illinois. (a 1 year residency is required)
 

Insurance / Managed Care

Medicaid Billing
Medicaid is a program with shared funding by the state and federal governments.  Each state can choose to fund this differently. Illinois has limited funds.

LCPCs are not individually eligible to bill medicaid directly for client services. Many medicaid eligible people are in managed care systems that are managed by ILBCBS, Aetna, etc.  LCPCs are eligible providers in this situation. They are contracted with the managed care company and not directly billing medicaid. Community mental health agencies receive funds from the state of Illinois to provide mental health services to medicaid eligible clients. LCPCs are allowed to bill as part of these community agencies.

IMHCA has attempted on three occasions to pass legislation to allow LCPCs to directly bill medicaid for elgible clients. Current (2019) House Bill HB3091.

Medicare

Medicare is a federally funded program. LCPCs can not bill for medicare eligible clients. For 20 years we along with ACA, AMHCA, NBCC, AMFT and others have supported legislation to change this. Current legislation.

Recoupment
Rules governing insurance companies recouping payments are in: (215 ILCS 5/368d)    Sec. 368d. Recoupments. It limits the period to 18 months.

LPC Bill ILBCBS
Our understanding, there needs to be a GROUP CONTRACT and the LPC needs to be listed on the roster and needs to undergo credentialing (submit license, malpractice insurance, etc.)  The claims need to be filed under the group tax ID with the LPC's NPI number. The LPC needs to be listed as the rendering provider (not the supervisor or the practice owner.)  The supervisor's name needs to be listed as the supervisor and they are required by ILBCBS to be in the office location during the time of the session. The supervisor needs to routinely review the file.  The LPC needs to participate in supervision according to counselor licensure regulations.  Claims will be paid at the masters level clinician fee rate.



Licensure Testing

 Test Retakes?
NBCC policy is in the Applicant Handbook for the NCMHCE.
  pg 14 -3 attempts in 2 years
IDFPR-After 3 years new application required.(225 ILCS 107/40) Section 40. (c)

Experience Required for LCPC

 Number of Hours?
3,320 hours of work of which 1,920 hours in face to face counseling. Section 1375.130 (d)
 The hours must be earned in no less than 2 years. There is no maximum number of years to earn experience in. Section 1375.130 (b)
 1 hour weekly supervision must be by a LCPC / LCSW / Psychologist / Psychiatrist or your state equivalent.
You never have to live or work in Illinois to get licensed in Illinois. Appropriately supervised clinical experience from anywhere will qualify.


What Kind of Therapy am I allowed to do?

A LCPC / LPC can provide counseling services that they are qualified for by training, education and experience.

Obviously you can not provide services beyond your scope "brain surgery", etc).
Other areas of confusion can include "Family Therapy" or "Family Counseling" . No laws in Illinois restrict "Family or Marital or Substance Abuse or Addiction Counseling" to any specific license.  Services are broadly defined in the law under definitions.

Can a LPC work at a non-profit without a LCPC/LCSW on site during sessions?
Yes. .

Out of State Therapy.
Seeing existing clients who temporarily or permanently relocate to another state. 

You and the client need to be in the state you are licensed in. There are no exceptions or provisions for teletherapy, clients on vacation, etc. If your client is in another state from Illinois you will need to meet the licensing requirements of that state/country. All Illinois license laws that apply to Illinois apply to taletherapy. Illinois has no special teletherapy laws.

Records

How long does a therapist need to keep records?

4)         Failing to establish and maintain client records and case notes, including failing to inform clients of issues related to the difficulty of maintaining the confidentiality of electronically transmitted communication.  Records must be maintained for at least 7 years.  In the case of a minor, records must be maintained 7 years after the minor turns 18. 

What intake paperwork is required by law for counselors?

There is no specific requirement in the law for a specific type or format or intake form.

Who does a therapist need release of information for? 

(740 ILCS 110/5) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 805)
    Sec. 5. Disclosure; consent. Specifics on disclosure and consent is specified in this law.

and

  (740 ILCS 110/9.4)
    Sec. 9.4. Disclosure for treatment and coordination of care.

Where can I find the laws on records?

What are the laws on copying records?

(740 ILCS 110/4) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 804)
    Sec. 4. (a) The following persons shall be entitled, upon request, to inspect and copy a recipient's record or any part thereof:






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 Rachel Banick Association Director
ph (815) 787-0515
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Phone:
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Email: myimhca@gmail.com

Address:
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DeKalb, IL 60115

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