FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION OF MFTS
• Health Resources Services Administration Recognizes MFTs as Core Mental Health Professionals
The Public Health Service Act recognizes marriage and family therapists as a core mental health profession under the Health Professional Shortage Area and the National Health Service Corps programs administered by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). The program identifies geographic areas that have a shortage of mental health professionals. Other core professionals are psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse specialists. (42 CFR Part 5).
• Department of Education Department Recognizes MFT Programs & IDEA Providers
-The Department of Education (DoE), in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), designates MFTs as qualified providers of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with a disability (20 U.S.C.A s 1432).
- The Department of Education formally recognizes the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) as the national accrediting agency for clinical training programs in marriage and family therapy.
• Department of Veterans Affairs Recognizes MFTs
MFTs added to the list of eligible Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health providers under the Veterans Benefits Act (38 U.S.C.A. §7402). The law identifies MFTs as viable VA employees and/or contractors in Vet Centers and VA Hospitals (Public Law 109-461). Final VA implementation is still underway, but completion is scheduled for September 2010.
• Department of Transportation Recognizes MFTs as Eligible for Substance Abuse Program
The Department of Transportation (DoT) Substance Abuse Program recognizes licensed or certified MFTs as qualified to apply for Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) credentialing. The program provides evaluation and treatment for any of the approximately 12.1 million people performing safety-sensitive transportation jobs covered by DoT drug and alcohol regulations (Public Law 109-59).
• Minority Fellowship Program Recognizes MFT Students
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants MFT students eligibility to participate in its Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). MFP provides MFT doctoral students with grants to help them aid at-risk minority populations within their communities (DHHS SAMHSA FY 08 Justification of Estimates for appropriations committees).
• Department of Defense Recognizes & Reimburses MFTs as Health Care Providers
- The Department of Defense (DoD) identifies marriage and family therapists as “health-care professionals” who are authorized to provide direct patient care and serve as contractors to DoD employees. (10 USCS § 1094 & 10 USCS § 1091).
- The Department of Defense identifies MFTs as clinical practitioners eligible for credentialing and independent privileging in DON Family Service Centers and Family Advocacy Program Centers. (SECNAVINST 1754.7).
• CHAMPUS/TRICARE Reimburses MFTs
CHAMPUS/TRICARE, the federal health care program for members of the uniformed services and their families, reimburses MFTs as independent extra-medical individual providers who provide counseling or non-medical therapy (32 CFR 199.6 / TRICARE Standard Provider Handbook).
• Indian Health Service Recognizes MFTs
The Indian Health Service authorizes licensed marriage and family therapists to provide mental health care services to Indians in a clinical setting, along with psychologists and social workers. (25 U.S.C.A. s 162h(l))
• National Health Services Corps Recognizes MFTs as Behavioral and Mental Health Professionals
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) defines marriage and family therapy as a “behavioral and mental health professional” for purposes of participating in the NHSC Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs. These programs are designed to provide health care services to underserved populations. (42 U.S.C. 254d)