Legislative Updates

December 5, 2017

To: Minnesota Psychologists

The MN Department of Commerce Wants to Hear From You

The Department of Commerce is urging individuals to make complaints based on problematic payer experiences. They are only able to act on the basis of complaints that are submitted. While they previously had preferred complaints from consumers, they understand that making such a complaint can be challenging for patients. Now, they are open to complaints from providers. Complaints that don’t fall under Commerce jurisdiction will be routed to the appropriate department.

Commerce needs to hear from constituents/patients, families/friends, and providers. They especially need to hear when people believe their health insurance benefits have not been in parity with medical/physical health benefits.

Examples can surface in the form of non-quantitative treatment limits: 

  • Service payment issues that contribute to relatively fewer providers to choose from
  • Needing health insurance coverage for/accessibility to residential treatment, crisis treatment
  • Excessively burdensome prior authorization, concurrent, and retrospective review requirements for services including, but not limited to: prescription drugs, emergency services, continued treatment, appointment availability after initial patient appointment

Documents that show how to file a complaint:

Commerce Contact Handout.pdf





May 8, 2017

To:  Minnesota psychologists

From:  William J. Amberg, JD, MA, Government Relations Counsel

            Trisha A. Stark, PhD, LP, MPA, Legislative Chair

This is both a review of current Minnesota legislative action being carried out by the Minnesota Psychological Association and a call to action. Please respond to any or all issues.

  1. Where we are at—the legislative leadership and governor’s office are in discussion about what should be appropriate budget targets. It’s unclear how this process will go, towards a negotiated bill for Health and Human Services (HHS), or a bill passed by the House and Senate that is ultimately vetoed by the governor, leading to further negotiations. There are stark differences in budget targets, with the governor’s HHS budget of +$500 million, the House and Senate target of a -$500 million cut.
    Our request- Please contact the Governor’s office and ask him to stand firm on an adequate HHS budget so that Minnesotans have needed mental health care. https://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/

  2. Changes to Psychology Practice Act—We are pleased that changes to the practice act focused on licensure requirements for psychologists working in academic settings and supervision requirements were added to the latest version of the HHS Omnibus bill. There is still a ways to go, but we are hopeful that our language will carry through the legislative process.
    Our request—Please thank the Senate conferees for including our language regarding the Psychology Practice Act in the HHS Omnibus bill, and ask for their continued support. mailto:sen.jim.abeler@senate.mn,  mailto:sen.tony.lourey@senate.mn, sen.michelle.benson@senate.mn, Senator Paul Utke at http://www.senate.mn/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1205&ls=, sen.karin.housley@senate.mn  Also thank our bill author in the House, Representative Debra Kiel rep.deb.kiel@house.mn who was enormously helpful in dealing with some challenges we faced.

  3. Requirement for providers to list prices of services by CPT code. Providers likely will be required to list their most commonly used CPT codes and their retail prices on their websites and handouts.  Senator Abeler is willing to support an amendment that would give use more time to comply with the requirement. When session is complete, expect to get more specifics about needed changes from 
    Our request—Please thank Senator Jim Abeler for sponsoring the amendment that would give providers until 1/1/2018 to comply with listing of prices by CPT codes. mailto:sen.jim.abeler@senate.mn

  4. Changes to the Brief Diagnostic Assessment—MPA, in concert with other groups, has supported language that would allow increased flexibility in meeting the requirements of the brief diagnostic assessment. This is especially needed in integrated behavioral healthcare settings. It allows information for the full Diagnostic Assessment to be gathered during the subsequently authorized ten sessions. The language was heard and adopted in the House, but did not make it into the HHS omnibus budget bill.
    Our request—Please thank Representative Debra Kiel for her efforts to get this language amended to the HHS Omnibus bill or other appropriate HHS policy bill. rep.deb.kiel@house.mn, You can also ask your Representative to support the bill when it comes to the House floor. You can find out who represents you here http://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

Thank you for your efforts to support our profession. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.

William J. Amberg, JD, MA
Minnesota Psychological Association Government Relations Counsel

Trisha Stark, PhD, LP
Minnesota Psychological Association Legislative Chair