TCA has some great news and important opportunities to share with you! Please forward this email to any colleagues who would also benefit from this information. 
LPC Rules: Your Voice Was Heard this Week!  

The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors approved new rules at their meeting earlier this week on March 2. In more than three hours of deliberations on proposed rule changes, the Rules Committee consistently and repeatedly referenced comments that they received from YOU! The rules adopted later that day by the full Board reflect most, if not all, of the comments submitted by TCA as well as the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (TACES), and the Texas Mental Health Counselors Association (TMHCA), all of whom were represented at these meetings. The Board did not change the definitions of "client" or "indirect hours." They did not modify the Code of Ethics governing the use of technology in counseling. The rule to allow staff to exceed statutory deadlines to complete application and renewals was not adopted, nor was the rule that would mandate the release of a client's entire record in response to a complaint. And so much more.

Please note that these changes are not final. They now go through another legal review before a final publication in the Texas Register. They will take effect 20 days after they are published. Until that time, the rules dated January 12, 2015 are still in effect. TCA will send you a note when the new rules are officially adopted.

Stakeholders Wanted: Review School Counselor Certification Requirements in Texas 

Do you have experience with or an interest in the School Counselor Certification requirements in Texas? Over the next several months, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) will determine what, if any, changes should be made to the current Texas certification requirements to become a School Counselor. A first step in that process is the formation of a stakeholder group to provide expert input and advice to the Texas Education Agency staff who support SBEC.

TEA is looking for stakeholders who have experience with school counselor preparation programs to volunteer and provide recommendations which will inform the school counselor certification standards that will be sent to SBEC for consideration and adoption. The stakeholder nomination period is NOW OPEN and will close on Friday, March 11, 2016. Please complete the nomination application and submit using the email button at the bottom of the application. Send questions via email to Marilyn Cook, Director of Educator Certification
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Medicaid Providers: Give Feedback, Improve Online Enrollments 

The Texas Health and Human Commission (HHSC) wants your feedback on ways to improve their new online Provider Management and Enrollment System (PMES). In an effort to ease the administrative burdens of Medicaid enrollment and re-enrollment, PMES will allow Medicaid providers and providers participating in other state-funded programs to submit an application through one centralized portal. The application will then be routed to TMHP, MCO credentialing organizations and other HHSC enterprise agencies as appropriate. Please complete the HHSC Provider Survey to share functionalities and process improvements you would like to see associated with a new provider enrollment system. Send your questions to laura.blanke@hhsc.state.tx.us.
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