HBA-DMH H.B. 976 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 976 By: Christian Public Health 2/20/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, certain psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers are included in the definition of "non-physician mental health professional." The licensed professional counselor (LPC) license requires education and training similar to that required of non-physician mental health professionals. The state also recognizes LPCs as qualified mental health providers and affords them direct reimbursement from insurance companies and Medicaid. Yet, because LPCs are not considered non-physician mental health professionals they tend to have a limited role in or be hired less frequently by mental health and mental retardation facilities. House Bill 976 includes LPCs in the definition of "non-physician mental health professional" for the purposes of the Texas Mental Health Code. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 976 amends the Health and Safety Code to add a licensed professional counselor licensed to practice in this state to the definition of "non-physician mental health professional" for the purposes of the Texas Mental Health Code. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.